Rêve et Réalité

11 March – 30 July 2023 | Reinhart am Stadtgarten

Odilon Redon
L’œil, comme un ballon bizarre se dirige vers l’infini / Das Auge strebt wie ein
seltsamer Ballon zum Unendlichen hin, 
Blatt 1 des Albums A Edgar Poe, 1882
Kunst Museum Winterthur, Geschenk von Maria Stiefel-Bühler, 1975

With his ambiguous work, the French painter and graphic artist Odilon Redon (1840-1916) is one of the most unconventional artists of the dawning modern age. It leads from darkness into light, from the black of his early charcoal drawings and lithographs to the painterly color fantasies of his mature work. Although Redon was a friend and contemporary of the Impressionists, as an individualist he created a profound oeuvre that went decisively beyond capturing pure sensory impressions. Rather, he was influenced by the intellectual attitude of the Fin de Siècle, the scientific discourses on the one hand, and on the other hand also the literature of his time, which turned away from realism and bourgeois norms and, in a return to the mysteries of Romanticism, turned to the fantastic, the hidden and the unconscious. 
Against this background, Redon developed his own pictorial vocabulary in his graphic prints, the so-called Noirs, in which precise observation of nature and free imagination meet. These are mysterious and dreamlike depictions of primeval organisms, mythical creatures, and cosmic figures that later appear in his painterly work in luminous colors. In them, the uncanny and gloomy appearance is transformed into serenity, as opposing worlds such as dream and reality, natural science and myth, representationalism and abstraction combine in surprising constellations. 
The exhibition focuses on Redon’s important lithographic oeuvre, which enters into a dialogue with a selection of unique pastels and paintings. The pure colorfulness of his late work forms the conclusion of the exhibition. In it, Redon is shown not only as an artist of French Symbolism, but as an open-minded spirit on the threshold of the 20th century, whose broad horizons inspire us to think further about his pictorial worlds in our own imaginations. 

Curator: Andrea Lutz

Impressions of the opening

With kind support

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Kunst Museum Winterthur
Reinhart am Stadtgarten
8400 Winterthur
Route hierher


Tuesday to Sunday 10 – 17 Uhr
Thursday 10 – 20 Uhr
Closed on Monday


CHF 19 / 16 (reduced)