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Sylvester Stallone

75th birthday retrospective

Osthaus Museum Hagen, Hagen

(c) Galerie Gmurzynska/ Artwork: Sylvester Stallone

After museum exhibitions at the State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg (2013) and the Musée d'Art Moderne et d'Art Contemporain, Nice (2015), the Osthaus Museum Hagen, on the occasion of Sylvester Stallone's 75th birthday, presents a retrospective of his works. The complete oeuvre from the late sixties until today is illuminated, as well as the various artistic phases of the action star. On view are approximately 50 paintings, including self-portraits and never-before-seen early works.

Stallone's paintings are on the one hand "action-packed" and expressive like his films and on the other hand subtle and multi-layered in their statements. The Hollywood star with an affinity for art knowledgeably uses various art forms such as surrealism, expressionism and abstraction as forms of expression. Painting has been a close and constant part of Sylvester Stallone's creative expressions for the past 55 years, with his artistic output fueling his cinematic work and vice versa.

Sylvester Stallone: "That's what I love about painting, it's the only true communication you can have. Writing can be manipulated, painting is the fastest and purest translator of the subconscious. When something is going on inside you and you hit the canvas, it's hard to fake it. The artist on the canvas is number one for me when it comes to conveying his feelings."

Stallone's most famous film character, ROCKY, was first created on screen long before the movie script and is featured in the exhibition as 1975's "Finding Rocky."

Stallone discovered a love of painting at a young age. His early works, which he signed Mike Stallone, were very experimental. However, for financial reasons, he worked as a writer and began his acting career.

Sylvester Stallone was intensively involved with contemporary art as a collector and as a painter. At the end of the 1980s he was particularly interested in the art of Picasso, Gerhard Richter or Anselm Kiefer. He also dealt with the abstract works of Mark Rothko and developed his own style. In this way, he created numerous expressionistic works, some as alienated self-portraits, others playing with language.

The exhibition is accompanied by a comprehensive bilingual catalogue, with interviews as well as texts by Dr. Tayfun Belgin, director oft he Osthaus Museum Hagen, Dr. Evgenia Petrova, scientific director of the Russian Museum, St. Petersburg, and to Dr. Jérôme Neutres, the former director of the Réunion des Musées Nationaux-Grand Palais and president of the Musée du Luxembourg.

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