With its upcoming exhibition Robert Brandy face à lui-même, the National Museum of History and Art (MNHA) is inviting visitors to explore half a century of work by this popular and well-known Luxembourg artist. In his early career, Brandy quickly made a name for himself in the art world, not least because he was determined to achieve something almost unheard of in 1970s Luxembourg: to make his passion his profession and make a living from his art in his own country. Establishing himself as an independent freelance artist turned him into something of a renowned figure and, without Brandy even knowing it, was to pave the way for other artists to follow in his footsteps.
His fierce desire for independence stems from his time in the south of France where, while studying at the École des Beaux-Arts in Aix-en-Provence, he first encountered the teachings of the Supports/Surfaces movement. Influenced by these artists’ ideas, he developed a keen awareness of the materials used in his works and started playing with objects, canvas and colours – in essence the supports and surfaces of his own work. He nurtured his own original style of expression, honing it religiously in many different ways. Gradually his name became known around the world and his works featured in high-profile museum exhibitions and private collections in every corner of the globe.
The purpose of this MNHA exhibition is two-fold: Firstly, it showcases Robert Brandy’s long career (1971-2021) through a selection of works – some of them previously unseen – which demonstrates how his artistic expression has developed over time. Visitors can explore how his career has progressed and how his artistic language has evolved from his early career to the present day. Secondly, the exhibition highlights Robert Brandy’s role in the history of art in Luxembourg, as a pioneer in promoting art as a freelance profession at a pivotal moment in the development of the country’s arts sector.
A programme of educational events is planned alongside the exhibition, including workshops, themed tours and a lecture series. The catalogue published by the MNHA features various contributions in French (Michel Polfer, Jamie Armstrong, Bernard Ceysson, Malgorzata Nowara and Jean Sorrente) as well as reproductions of selected works. It is available in the museum shop, online at www.mnha-shop.lu and in bookshops for the price of 35 euros.
Robert Brandy face à lui-même – 50 ans de carrière: 2 April to 28 November 2021 at the MNHA
National Museum of History and Art (MNHA)