Hello welcome back to the art channel with grace Adam and Joshua white, and this week we are looking at the work of Pablo Bronstein at Chatsworth House in Derbyshire at Chatsworth. Pablor Bronstein is staging an exhibition of watercolors and drawings on the theme of the baroque of historic style and design, and, of course, this house is so important as a repository of objects collected during the Grand Tour.
This process, whereby young aristocrats would be sent to Italy to further their education where they could develop their taste, knowledge of art and subsequently they would bring work back to their family houses like Chatsworth to embellish the family collections.
Bronstein has gone through the collection and selected 60 objects and he was given free rein to choose what he wanted and he's taken those objects to not in contemporary the two films that we are making are all about.
Bronstein's. Response to Chatsworth House to the idea of baroque the idea of collection, the idea of being a connoisseur and of taste and how that changes. And when we see the objects in not in contemporary.
They are very different because they're. In a different context, so it throws up some interesting questions and the exhibition is part of a larger project called the Grand Tour, which is a proposition that you can have a modern experience of the Grand Tour linking together for cultural institutions in Derbyshire and Nottingham show, Including nothing in contemporary Chatsworth house.
Well, back and Derby museums, we're standing at Chatsworth in the old master drawings cabinet, a dedicated room for the sharing of this extraordinary collection of 3,000 drawings, and that today we have a selection of ornithological studies.
And here in this room, Pablo Bronstein has made a special work for the exhibition that relates to the Braham portrait behind us on the wall, which is a permanent feature of this intimate space, an old man in oriental costume - and you can see here the replica of The Rembrandt, because this is a decorative scheme for exhibiting that painting and we can see it's on a much larger scale.
He's, expanded the space and he's. Added all of these extraordinary details. These decorative flourishes there were shells and mirrors and swags and carving in stone and also plaster molding. It's, very elaborate, isn't it it's, an amazing drawing and it's.
It's, part of Bronstein's, complete fascination with the 17th and 18th century, with this kind of opulent, over-the-top decorative way of building the world, and I think it's quite interesting that he & # 39.
S played with the scale, like you say, to such an extent. There are tiny little chairs down at the bottom of this. Drawing it's, a great sense of depth. It's, a it's, a beautiful kind of trick to look at and, as you say, the Rembrandt just slotted into the center like a tiny postage stamp.
This incredibly important painting becomes just part of a possible scheme. You know a possible piece of architecture, a fantasy room, and what Bronstein is considering is this age of the Baroque, the style invented during the counter-reformation on continental Europe and brought to Britain later in at the end of the 17th century, which is embodied in this house.
Here at Chatsworth, and you can see strong shadows cast, can't you, it's almost like illuminated. We don & # 39, t, see any presence of people, but it's, a it's like a set waiting to be enlivened it if it means to be populated.
Do my life, it's very much a piece of theatre, isn't it. It is a backdrop for some action that's going to happen, but it's. It's. Incredibly, it's completely over the top. It's so crammed with ornament, as you say, shells and vases and mirrors, and swags and ribbons, and it's.
It's, a real it's. A beautiful mesons for, but it is this incredible embodiment of all this collecting all this. Getting all this bringing home of objects from mainland Europe. We're standing in front of a piece which is called stage design for an Oliver Cromwell ballet, which already draws you in because it's.
Quite a strange idea and it's. A beautiful kind of slice through this box here to this this interior space, with lots of rich reds and greens, and this amazing kind of trick of stage design here you've, got a Cromwell in the middle, with his little rows of yellow and Pink dancers, either side of him Bronstein playing with scale again and very, very knowingly.
The dancers are tiny, crominus enormous and if you get drawn in you see that there are not errors or mistakes but deliberate. Just things that can't quite work, and I think that's. What makes these drawings very contemporary? It reminds me actually of the theatre designed by Palladio human chenza.
He's very accentuated prospective lines the loop, the eye into the distance. But then, if we look very closely, we can see that Cromwell is holding at the head of Charles the first and it's. An absurdity in has a certain camp commodity and, of course, famously Cromwell was a Puritan and actually, during the Protectorate, he banned live theatre performances.
So this is an impossibility. It's, been imagined and staged, rather actually by public time, and you can see some of the audience here in their boxes. It's, as if we see simultaneously both viewers and the performance yeah it's.
It's, it's, a clever piece of drawing because, of course it can't work. You're, looking at it from multiple viewpoints. A bit like you know, the Baroque. Nothing is as it seems. So you are getting strange views from different angles.
You all you're drawn in people. Don't, look at it, engage they're kind of sitting like a little statues in these chairs and, if you say Cromwell in the middle, this absurd artifice. It's, never going to happen.
So here's. His camp approach has taken in it's, quite an extreme form. In this piece of work. We're. Looking now at a work called palladium house refresh in lemon-yellow, it's as if a building can be reinvented with a decorative scheme with the application of new paint, and we can see what appears to be ostensibly a design for a palladium house.
With all of these neoclassical flourishes the Corinthian order. These columns are very decorative at the Capitals we have only the stonework. The bronstein has very precisely described a group of visitors again rather kind of minut below at this basement level, and this strong light that allows us to pick out only the extraordinary detail of the stone it's, an extraordinary or painting, really, probably because The building itself is just is on white paper and there is no context apart from the figures, so it's very much a designer scheme, and I like the idea, I, like the title, refreshed in lemon yellow and I like the idea that you Can, as as baroque Steel's or pastiches other styles, you can put another layer on, as you say, you can refresh with with new paint with new color, with lemon yellow, a kind of new name for paint, and I particularly love this fantastic symmetry.
It's, it's, a it's, a beautiful, elegant building and it's utterly ridiculous. At the same time, it's covered in ornament, but bizarrely empty. There are a few figures, as you say, at the base, some in these archways, but it's very it's, devoid of life.
These coal's where the windows are this incredible sense of depth this it's, quite some kind of eerie piece of work. In a way it's very technical, then it consciously quotes the interest in Palladian architecture which arise in Britain in there and the mid to late 18th century and there's.
A famous book called the Trulia spec Eliquis, the published design, ledian villas and houses type of building that could be seen in Venice. But what's interesting about this work is that it takes us to the idea of style, and I think that's, a consistent theme through his work, the preeminence of style and a taste for particular styling.
Yes, that might be as simple as choosing a particular shade of yellow yeah and the idea that these these drawings are a look at a very dominant class of people with a dominant taste that spreads out across the UK.
And you know that relationship between money and style and taste, good, taste, bad taste but taste. Nevertheless, this piece, which is ink and watercolor on paper, is called dramatic, unveiling of a monument to Peter the Great in Moscow and it's rather an extraordinary piece.
It is this ridiculous monument sort of rising up out of the ground. This bronze color reveals these great kind of barn doors these flaps coming open to show it and it's in this kind of strange marshy landscape.
Probably next to the sea, I don't know it's, an extraordinary drawing. I noticed all the pulleys, the ropes that lower down the screens to unveil. As you say, this ridiculous monument and Bronstein is actually quoting a sculpture.
That was made for the river in Moscow by a contemporary artist a sculptor, and you can see that here, Peter the Great is standing on what looks like I've totally babe I mean the scale is completely inept and then you have a kind Of series of stacked elements: what is this drawing really addressing? Well, the pomposity public sculpture of the figures they represent and peter the great's, overweening ambition, standing on a time base, yeah! No, I think he there's.
A lot of slices are out of layers to it to a piece like this, as you say it, so it's about power. It's about meeting the greatest about the ridiculous sort of memorializing, our leaders good or bad, and it's about another piece of artwork, which he doesn't particularly like.
So there are lots of comments going on here. There's, a awkwardness to of the unveiling and kind of a fossil, and knows how do you do it of just revealing this thing? Really that's totally out of proportion, I mean think, unlike the drawings of palladium houses, which are, you know, elegant in some way, this is not.
This is ridiculous. It's, clumsy it's, an extraordinary event. It's, it's very kind of Heath Robinson, and the only way he pulls it off is because it is such a beautifully made piece. You