Edgar Chahine and the Etching Revival | Edgar Chahine and Others
Edgar Chahine and the Etching Revival
05 July - 29 September 2012
The exhibition focuses on the youngest of the French members of the Etching Revival, Edgar Chahine (1874-1947), who was a prominent exhibitor at the Salons, the Venice Biennales, and modernist art galleries in France and Italy from the late 1890s to the late 1930s. Chahine also was an important illustrator of beaux livres by prominent authors, including Anatole France, Octave Mirbeau, Gabriel Mourey, Maurice Barrès, Gustave Flaubert, Colette, Charles Baudelaire, and the Frères Goncourt. The exhibition is particularly rich in both studio etchings as well as extremely rare artist’s proofs of Chahine’s book illustrations. In addition, the work of Chahine is complemented by comprehensive coverage of representative works by his confrères of the FrenchEtching Revival, including his predecessors Corot, Rousseau, Jacque, Millet, Daubigny, and Méryon as well as his contemporaries Lalanne, Bracquemond, Legros, Buhot, Lepère, Besnard, Raffaëlli, Forain, Steinlen, Helleu, Leheutre, Legrand, Jouas , and Béjot. These works are placed in a contemporary context through their contrast with works by more recognisably modernist artists, including Jongkind, Fantin-Latour, Chéret, Morisot, Maillol, Bonnard, Rouault, de Vlaminck, Laboureur, Denis, Frélaut, and Derain. Further, the overall range of these works is placed into international perspective by the inclusion of representative graphic works of artists outside of France working at the time, such as Klinger, Orlik, and Heckel in Germany; Rops in Holland; Haden and Whistler in the UK; and Pennell and Arms in the USA.
The works in the exhibition are drawn principally from the significant lifetime collection of Pierre Chahine, the only child of the artist, and his wife Anne. This collection has been supplemented by works from a major Sydney collection and the stock of a prominent New York art dealer. They include drawings, hard-ground and soft-ground etchings, drypoints, aquatints, book illustrations, posters, and illustrated menus by many of the well-known and lesser-known artists who were active during the Belle Époque heyday of the Etching Revival, which spanned France, Italy, the UK, and the USA. The themes explored by these artists focus mainly on landscapes, genre scenes, portraits, pastoral scenes, urban settings, and architectural works. Many of these works are of exceptional rarity and include unrecorded works and impressions that are unique or of which there are only a few known copies.