Ferdinand Melichar

Welcome to the Rousseaus

01.06. – 01.07.2022 / Current

Exhibition view

Selection of exhibited work

About the exhibition

Ferdinand Melichar

Welcome to the Rousseaus

Smolka Contemporary is pleased to invite you to the opening of Ferdinand Melichar’s exhibition Welcome to the Rousseaus!

 

Opening
Wednesday, June 1, 2022, 5 – 8pm

 

At 6.30pm, Dr. Elisabeth Voggeneder, artistic director of the Forum Frohner, opens the exhibition.

 

About the exhibition
Henri Rousseau was an enthusiastic amateur painter, but despite all the loving teasing and jokes from Picasso and Co., his pictures are now in the MoMa and I’m happy about that. He loved to paint jungles, that’s why I like him. He had the idea that nature makes people happy, that people only have to walk around with their eyes in a forest he created to be satisfied with their existence, their being. At least that’s what I think when I look at his pictures. I also like going to the forest and in winter, when the deciduous trees are bare and only their naked trunks can be seen, all colours have disappeared, everything is grey, brown and black, then I paint the forest in summer, the lush green, the light that falls through the foliage to the ground, the bushes and grass, then I walk around in the forest with my brushes on my canvases, just like the old customs officer did 120 years ago.

 

The other Rousseau, the philosopher, was by no means naive. He was a sharp thinker, an intellectual, an enlightener, and yet he also had similar ideas about the effects of the forces of nature on people. In a nutshell, one can say that he saw humans as part of nature and only through their detachment from nature, through their endeavour to subdue nature for their purposes, did they lose their innocence and lose their balance. As we know today, this fact has thrown nature out of balance. When humans were still one with nature, they were also in harmony with themselves. According to Rousseau, humans are inherently good. Only possessiveness and progressive thinking have made them evil and destructive.

 

All of humanity’s great ideas are fundamentally naïve: love, equality, freedom, etc. It’s a matter of depicting them, of explaining them in such a way that they have to be taken seriously, and that’s how it is with painting. Painting is easy in itself and that’s why it’s so difficult.

 

– Ferdinand Melichar

Location

Lobkowitzplatz 3, 1010 Vienna

When

01.06. – 01.07.2022 / Current