Ao lado está o retrato de Adele Bloch-Bauer, pintado por Gustav Klimt em 1907. Recentemente comprado por Ronald Lauder por, especula-se, 135 milhões de verdinhas, o retrato já está pendurado na Neue Galerie for German and Austrian Art, Manhattan, para que o público possa absorver sua beleza.
Ontem o New York Times trouxe New Klimt in Town: The Face That Set the Market Buzzing, por Michael Kimmelman. Vale ler o artigo do começo ao fim. Kimmelman conta a interessante estória do retrato (durante anos travou-se uma luta entre a justa herdeira do retrato e o governo Austríaco), e deliciosamente repete a frase “too expensive”. Kimmelman fala também sobre outros quadros de Klimt que estão temporariamente acompanhando Adele na Neue Galerie (inclusive Adele Bloch-Bauer II, 1912), e sobre preço e valor de arte.
For that amount, assuming it is what Mr. Lauder paid, his portrait of Adele, a hedonistic masterpiece, will be talked about in terms of how many lives might have been saved or how many lifted from poverty for this sum.
It’s inevitable. But ludicrous. The Met spent more than $45 million two years ago for a tiny Duccio “Madonna and Child” whose modesty seems its most endearing virtue. The tipping point between endearing and hedonistic is evidently somewhere around $100 million.
As for the border separating public interest from private enterprise, it has never been fixed. The Neue Galerie is Christie’s annex now, exhibiting paintings for sale ($15 general admission, no children under 12 allowed), whose display is also a public service.
Someday Adele will be seen for just what she is: beautiful, a gift to the city. And $135 million may even come to look like a bargain.
Eu assino embaixo, e publico aqui meu agradecimento a Lauder por ter pendurado este retrato numa galeria aberta à visitação pública. É o que chamo de dinheiro bem gasto.
Christopher Knight, crítico de arte do L.A. Times, escreveu sobre a obra de Klimt em abril passado:
As a pair, “Adele I” and “II” create a captivating dialogue of Klimt’s artistic trajectory at an unparalleled moment — a conversation centered on the Jewish patron critical to it. Together they begin to tell the heady story of Vienna as a profound social, intellectual and artistic engine driving modern culture before World War I.
(…) Why is the 1907 portrait so significant artistically? Think of it as a hinge — a pivot between a moribund, impossibly constricted world about to vanish forever and a new one whose contours could only be imagined.
With an exquisitely rendered image of a pretty, contemplative and artful young woman — his likely lover — the artist transformed an illustrious classical myth into a metaphor of creative ecstasy. Adele is Klimt’s Danae.
In the ancient myth, the beautiful princess Danae was locked away in a bronze tower by her father, who had been warned by an oracle that one day her son would kill him. The randy Zeus — a god who loved a challenge almost as much as sex — devised a way to get to the imprisoned virgin. He transformed himself into a shower of gold dust, seeping through cracks in the ceiling and enveloping, irradiating and impregnating her.
Painters from Titian to Edward Burne-Jones painted the Greek myth, at times casting the characters in their Roman guises. In a monumental 1603 version of the story painted by the great Dutch Mannerist Hendrik Goltzius — a masterpiece already in LACMA’s collection — the shocking theme is mercenary love. Danae, a sumptuous nude asleep on a pillow of platinum-colored satin amid a flurry of impish cherubs, is attended by a grizzled crone acting as procurer for the impatient Jupiter; leering Mercury, Roman god of commerce, looks on with glee. Greed and power are about to soil purity.
Klimt also painted the myth, in an explicitly sexual work still in a private Austrian collection. But Adele, his metaphoric Danae, is a thoroughly modern Jewish woman of taste, style, brains and means. The artist showers her in a torrent of gold, the light enveloping her body and ready to re-conceive the world.
Gostei muito de ler o que Kimmelman e Knight escreveram, especialmente porque ontem também saiu um artigo no Wall Street Journal que me deixou soltando fumaçinhas: Shopping-Mall Masters, por Kelly Crow. Crow fala sobre quadros com pores-de-sol fosforescentes, unicórnios e golfinhos saltitantes, daqueles que a gente torce o nariz ao ver num quarto de hotel ou sala de espera, que valem $10 e estão sendo vendidos por $300.000 e, no caso de um certo “pintor” que tem lojinhas em muitas cidades turísticas americanas, 4 milhões de dólares. Vá entender. Oscar Wilde disse que cínico é o homem que sabe o preço de tudo e o valor de nada. Tem gente, e muita gente, que não sabe nem o preço.