Robert Wilson

Faces of Mozart

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Faces of Mozart

Faces of Mozart

Press release

Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac is pleased to announce a new exhibition, by the multidisciplinary American Artist Robert Wilson. This exhibition of drawings entitled Faces of Mozart will run at the Paris gallery from the 17th to the 30th of May 2006.

Commissioned by the Mozart museum in Salzburg for the 250th anniversary of Mozart's birth, Robert Wilson has created a series of new Mozart portraits. We are pleased to present a selection of these works, which are graphite, colored ink and watercolor on paper.

Wilson has in this group of twenty-two works, presented the iconic figure we recognize as Mozart known from the wrappers of chocolates, the covers of recordings, and historical portraits in a completely individualistic way. He has begun with his own pencil sketches of the composer in various formats. Sometimes profiled from the shoulders up, sometimes full torso, sometimes in an abstracted unrecognizable outline of a face that is essentially not the musician at all. Onto these likenesses or non-likenesses he applies to varying degrees, watercolor treatments, every bit as idiosyncratic as his choice of the images to begin with.
For example a three- quarter facial profile is resplendent in wild coloration like a German Abstract Expressionist landscape. Or elsewhere a pensive Mozart looks out from a cameo circle with deep red and yellow brushstrokes splattered across his face. The treatment of the figure is always spontaneous and at times very light and gestural, and otherwise quite full and painterly.

Born in Waco, in Texas, Robert Wilson did his studies at the university of Texas and at Brooklyn's Pratt Institute. Since the late 1960's, he has been recognized as one of the most celebrated figures of the international avant-garde theater scene. Beginning with his opera Einstein on the Beach written with the composer Philip Glass in 1976, Wilson forever modified the traditional perception of the opera in an artistic form.

This is Robert Wilson's third show at the Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, in 1993 we presented drawings from his adaptation of the opera 'The Magic Flute' which ran at the Opera Bastille and in 1996, drawings from the opera Erwartung at the Théâtre du Châtelet. Wilson's practice is firmly rooted in the fine arts and his drawings, furniture designs, and installations have been exhibited in museums and galleries worldwide. Retrospective exhibits have been presented at the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, among others.