De Hallen Haarlem – IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Rob Scholte
Utopia, 1986
Oil on canvas
Collection Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam

This painting by Rob Scholte is featured in the presentation ‘Laughing at Art’ at the Frans Hals Museum, which is part of ‘Humour. 101 Years of Laughing at Art’. ‘Utopia’ is painted after ‘Olympia’ (1863; Paris, Musée d’Orsay) by Edouard Manet, which in turn harks back to Titian’s ‘Venus of Urbino’ (1538).

In 1919 Marcel Duchamp drew a moustache and a beard on a reproduction of the Mona Lisa. It became a well-known DADA artwork. Since then, subverting famous Old Masters or reducing them to the ‘ordinary’ by doing something witty to them has been common practice. They may be caricatured, for instance, by exaggerating particular elements or adding something wholly incongruous. Works can be placed in a strange context: absurd take-offs or parodies. Classic masterpieces can also be used for black humour. Manipulated versions of well-known works of art are often used in playful advertisements. The exhibition at the Frans Hals Museum features a number of striking examples.

De Hallen Haarlem shows examples of humorous Dutch art – from Dada, Surrealism and Pop Art to Fluxus — along with humorous works from contemporary art. In the Frans Hals Museum the focus is on caricatures and parodies of famous works of art.

Facebook, De Hallen Haarlem, 10 juli om 20:00

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