Siena: Johannesburg Art Gallery Collection

One of the most awaited exhibitions of modern and contemporary art of Summer/Autumn 2020 finally opened in Siena: “Lady Florence Phillips’ Dream – The Johannesburg Art Gallery collection”, including impressionists (Monet, Degas), great painters of the nineteenth century English (Turner, Rossetti) and the best of American Pop Art (Lichtenstein and Warhol).

The South African Guggenheim

The Sienese exhibition brings together over 60 works from South Africa’s Johannesburg Art Gallery, the main art museum on the African continent, a marvel strongly desired by its founder, Lady Florence Phillips (the South African Guggenheim). Phillips had a great passion for art which she nurtured by purchasing works by great authors of his time. It was precisely from this private collection that her Johannesburg Art Gallery was born in 1910: a museum that wanted to equal the great English museums (the Victor and Albert Museum above all) and which continued to enrich itself with great works even after the death of its founder.

The video interview with the curator Simona Bartolena:


The Siena exhibition

picasso mostra siena
Picasso – La Femme au Collier
© Johannesburg Art Gallery

The exhibition “Lady Florence Phillips’ Dream – The Johannesburg Art Gallery collection” can be found at Santa Maria della Scala in Siena until January 10th, 2021.
Inside this extraordinary exhibition there are oil paintings, watercolors and graphics by the major European painters of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and a section of works dedicated to contemporary African art – certainly less known to the Italian public, even more discerning.
The Sienese exhibition begins with an introduction to the figure of Lady Phillips and develops chronologically starting from the twentieth century with works of nineteenth-century and pre-Raphaelite British romanticism (Turner, Rossetti Millais and Alma-Tadema) and a nucleus of French paintings of the second mid nineteenth century (Gustave Courbet, François Millet and Henri-Joseph Harpignie); the next section is dedicated to Impressionists, Pontillists and Post-Impressionists (Monet, Sisley, Degas, Guillaumin, Signac, Lucien Pissarro, Le Sidaner).
The part of the exhibition focusing on the 20th century begins with two great sculptors (Auguste Rodin and Aristide Maillol), continues with four graphics and a Head of Harlequin by Pablo Picasso, a male portrait by Francis Bacon and – again – with works by Modigliani, the avant-garde Zadkine, and finally with works by Lichtenstein and Warhol.
The exhibition closes with a focus on African art including three splendid works by William Kentridge and a watercolor and pencil on paper by George Pemba.

Immagine di copertina:

Alfred Sisley

Sulla riva del fiume a Veneux, 1881.

© Johannesburg Art Galler

Target Point, Italian Ideas