LONDON – London’s Tate Modern was filled with elongated faces and figures for a retrospective dedicated to Italian artist Amedeo Modigliani.
The exhibition is to gather many of his nude portraits, a sensuous collection of works that had so shocked Parisian police at his first solo exhibition in 1917 – the only one held while he was alive – that within hours of the opening, they closed it down, though it continued later once the offensive paintings were removed from the window.
Modigliani, an Italian painter who worked primarily in Paris in the early 20th century, like many artists of the day, spent much of his time at the Bateau-Lavoir commune, scraping together a living.
The Tate has also gathered many of his lesser-known works, including his sculptural works, which the museum said were thought-provoking, and portraits of his lovers and friends, including Pablo Picasso.
His sculptures follow a similar theme as his portraits, with faces and noses elongated into elegant form and eyes perfectly almond-shaped, gazing mysteriously back at viewers.
Exhibition organizers brought a contemporary multimedia element to the show, creating a virtual reality experience that allows audiences to look at a reconstruction of Modigliani’s studio through VR glasses, placing them at the heart of the chaotic room in Paris’ Montparnasse area.
The retrospective also includes his final self-portrait, painted in 1919, months ahead of his death from tuberculosis at the age of 34.
The died destitute and having received little critical acclaim throughout his life, though he later garnered such fame that his “Nu couché” (“reclining nude”) sold for $170 million in 2015.
The Tate Modern is to host the exhibition from Thursday until April 2, 2018.