Its permanent collection from the 20th century
Its modern period, from 1900 and 1960, shows a break with ‘Ancient Art’, traditionnal of the 17th century. The prestigious establishment in Marseille devotes its exhibitions to this period.
Great artists have played an important role in the 20th century current such as: Henri Matisse, Oskar Kokoschka, Pablo Picasso, Jean Arp, Alberto Giacometti, Balthus, Antonin Artaud and Francis Bacon. The collection of the Cantini Museum, highlights these great individualities.
The collection from 1920 to 1940
Major artistic movement of the 20th century, the Fauvism(Charles Camoin, Émile Othon Friesz, André Derain, Alfred Lombard) is an integral part of the collection. The first cubist experiments (Raoul Dufy, Albert Gleizes), 1920-1640 (Le Corbusier, Fernand Léger, Jacques Villon, Jean Hélion), are also exhibited.
The beginning of the 20th century is also marked by the fascination of some artists for the light and meridional landscape: ‘Cassis’ by Derain in 1907, ‘The mediterranean landscape’ realized by Friez in the same year, ‘Estaque’ painted, on Cezanne’s path, by Dufy in 1908.
The surrealist revolution constitutes an important part in the collection. Gathered around André Breton and his wife Jacquelin Lamba, many artists such as Victor Brauner, Matta, André Masson, Jacques Hérold, Max Ernst or Joan Miró have made this artistic revolution a major axis of their art.
The game of Marseille created by the members of the surrealist group at the Villa Air Bel in 1940-1941 has been offered in 2003 to Cantini museum by Aube and Oona Elleouet Breton.
The lyrical on gestrural abstraction is represented by works from artists like Nicolas de Staël, Camille Bryen, Simon Hantaï, Arpad Szenès, Maria Elena Vieira da Silva.
The collection from 1950-1990
The museum keeps a set of works from the japanese group Gutai which was very active in the 1955-60 and remains close to the French informal movement with the critic and theorist Michel Tapié.
The following decades are illustrated by different pictorial trends. The “matiériste”experience in the 50’s is represented by Jean Dubuffet, Antonio Saura, Antoni Tàpies, Jean-Paul Riopelle, and abstract landscapes in large formats are represented by Olivier Debré, Raoul Ubac, Pierre Tal-Coat et Hans Hartung.