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Signes des temps ("Signs of the Times"). Visionary artworks from before 1914

Exhibition organised as part of commemorations for the First World War Centenary.
In this exhibition though, the focus was on the Belle Epoque: a period marked by progress in society, technology and economics, and by brilliant politics.  The era came to a sudden, brutal end on 4 August 1914. But how did that happen? Signes des Temps tries to reach a better understanding of the widespread state of agitation that was glaringly visible in pre-WWI art. The upheaval to daily life triggered conflicting emotions: hopes and fears, doubts and dreams, inebriation and aspiration.

Over 40 artists from six European countries are represented here, their work organised into themes so that visitors can consider the boundaries and connections between artistic movements such as realism, symbolism and expressionism. Together, they reveal the artistic hallmarks of an era immersed in uncertainty. This state of crisis, produced in part by the collapse of old values, was one of the roots of modern art. Visions of fear, of threats and of the apocalypse sit alongside idyllic scenes and utopian worlds. Interpreted today in the form of Signes des Temps, these artworks above all bear witness to a world in revolution that we now attempt to understand retrospectively as visionary images of a dark future.

The 150 pieces presented in this exhibition include paintings, sculptures, graphics and photography by German, French, Belgian, Swiss and Austrian artists, on loan from major international collections: Georges Minne, Auguste Rodin, Edvard Munch, Félicien Rops, Alfred Kubin, Léon Spillaert, Fernand Khnopff, Arnold Schönberg, James Ensor, Ludwig Meidner and many more. The darkest pages of the Belle Epoque's history resurface at various points along this journey.

Full list of artists featuring in this exhibition:

Jakob Steinhardt / Wilhelm Morgner / Karl Wilhelm Diefenbach / Hans Baluschek / Käthe Kollwitz / Edvard Munch / Ludwig Meidner / Fidus (Hugo Höppener) / Ludwig von Hofmann / Wenzel Hablik / Constantin Meunier / Max Slevogt / Otto Greiner / Wilhelm Lehmbruck / Max Beckmann / Otto Gutfreund / Albert Weisgerber / Henry de Groux / Xavier Mellery / Léon Spilliaert / Ossip Zadkine / Louis Mascré and Aimé Rutot / Félicien Rops / Cécile Douard / Auguste Lévèque / Fernand Khnopff / George Minne / William Degouve de Nuncques / Herbert George Wells (book) / James Ensor / Pierre Paulus / Philippe Wolfers / Arsène Matton / Henry Dunant / Gustav Arthur Gräser / Eugène Carrière / Félix Vallotton / Paul Sérusier / Auguste Rodin / Albert Trachsel / Alfred Kubin / Arnold Schönberg


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