Erro Exhibition in Lyon came to the end

Erro Exhibition in Lyon came to the end

I had a last chance to see it and I used it. I went to macLyon museum to see the RETROSPECTIVE ERRÓ. It started in October 2014 and finished on 22 February this year.

Silver Surfer
Silver Surfer

It is not my thing really and I would never buy and hang any of Erro’s picture in my home. And what is more, once I entered the exhibition I wanted to leave and there were moments I felt sick, veey sick and disgusted with the images and paintings and messages he wanted to present to us through his art.

Erro AutoportretBut…I didn’t, I stayed and Erro gained some respect and appreciation from me…and why is that? Let me present you at least a small piece of the Erro’s work which has been displayed in Lyon recently. And let me do it properly from the start.

So, I would like to present you Erro – the inveterate traveller, postmodern  artist. Guðmundur Guðmundsson known as Erró  was born  in 1932 in Ólafsvík, Iceland. He travelled a lot, he studied art in different countries in Reykjavik, Oslo, and Florence, he lived in many places such as Thailand and on the island of Formentera to finally settle in Paris in 1958.

His work portfolio is huge. I cannot describe what I have seen in the macLYON . There were the whole 3 floors and the area of 3000 m² dedicated to his work. The museum displayed over 500 works from his private and public collections from across Europe. His art work was presented in different styles, forms, sizes and ages. There were collages, performances, films, aquarelles, paintings and drawings. The exhibition showed me all the innovative forms and aspects of the artist’s work and apparently told the whole story in the history of his art for the first time.

From what I have seen, it is that his early work are tempera-and-ink paintings on paper and that he made a lot of references to postwar Europe. I have also noticed that Erro was a very good observer of the history and that he expressed it in his work and his work become a synonymous with postmodernism. In his work Erro also incorporated the arts technique of collage and he used for this the images of news and magazine clippings, posters, leaflets, postcards, reproductions, and comics. It looked cheap yet interessting…

Again, as it comes to describe the work of Erro I don’t know where to start. The landscapes in his work are a constantly changing kaleidoscope of images. There are paintings which show the beauty and the horror, the paradise and visions of fear, the innocence and the cruelty. With this same passion he was painting cartoon characters like Donald Duck, Daisy, Chip & Dale, and other Walt Disney creations and autocratic despots like Adolf Hitler, Saddam Hussein, the Chinese leader Mao Zedong to name a few. Weapons, violence and sexuality are indispensable elements of his paintings.

So yes, it was pretty impressive, I felt it all, happiness & admiration but mostly I was shocked and disgusted but I think this is the point of his work. He draws attentions with all those strong messages and get to people’s minds and conscience. I am happy I went there but I doubt I will want to come back to ‘admire’ his work. All I look in the art is the beauty as I think there is too much of cruelty in the world around us, too much bad news, disasters so let’s not support it.

But I do respect Erro! He has been working hard over his whole life and created impressive collection of different styles, techniques etc. Over the years he has taken part in hundreds of exhibitions and today his works are on show in museums all over the world. In 1989 he donated a large collection of his works to the Reykjavik Arts Museum.

He now left Lyon’s museum now but I am sure you can find his work elsewhere…Enjoy& get the message, like it or not…but go and see first to have an opinion…