This exhibition brings together two leading collections of early modernist art that now form part of the holdings of the Kunstmuseum Basel (Basel, Switzerland), the Im Obersteg Collection and the Rudolf Staechelin Collection, offering an opportunity to enjoy works by the most reputed early modernist masters, the vast majority of which have never before been seen in Spain.
This is the first time these collections have been shown together outside Basle.The 62 paintings, which will be exhibited on the fourth floor of the Sabatini Building, will offer a unique opportunity to see acknowledged masterpieces in Madrid that have never before been shown in Spain. They include works by Gauguin, Van Gogh, Renoir, Redon, Pissarro, Picasso, Manet, Modigliani, Monet, Cézanne, Chagall, Soutine, Jawlensky and Hodler.Together, the two collections provide a perspective on modern figurative painting from the late 19th century until about 1940.
It is moreover a chance to explore the phenomenon of collecting, with a focus on its centrality to the formation of modern art. Private collections of early modernism have traditionally been studied and exhibited with an emphasis on the contemplation of the works on display, neglecting the economic, social and political implications inherent to the activity of collecting in a context like that of Europe in the first decades of the 20th century. Nevertheless, collecting is above all discursive, and may be studied as such. A collection of whatever kind is made up not only of the works it contains but also of the narratives it successfully generates.