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Joan Balzar

Catalogue Reviews
A handful of attractive recent exhibition catalogues, as well as archived catalogue reviews.

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Feature

Paul Gauguin, Arearea no Varua ino

Paul Gauguin, Arearea no Varua ino (Words of the Devil, or Reclining Tahitian Women) (1894), oil on canvas [Seattle Art Museum, Seattle WA, Feb 9-Apr 29] Collection of Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen

Gauguin and Polynesia: An Elusive Paradise

Seattle Art Museum
Seattle WA – Feb 9–Apr 29, 2012

Paul Gauguin, Faaturuma

Paul Gauguin, Faaturuma (Melancholic) (1891), oil on canvas [Seattle Art Museum, Seattle WA, Feb 9-Apr 29] Collection of Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri

Paul Gauguin, Vahine no te Tiare

Paul Gauguin, Vahine no te Tiare (Tahitian Woman with a Flower) (1891), oil on canvas [Seattle Art Museum, Seattle WA, Feb 9-Apr 29] Collection of Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen

French Post-Impressionist painter Paul Gauguin (1848-1903) was one of the most formidable artists of the late 19th century. His style of bold colouration and simplified forms had a great impact on the development of artistic movements in the early 20th century.

During his lifetime, Gauguin’s artistic trajectory lead him to Polynesia in search of a pure, untouched habitat where he could create outside the influence of modern European civilization. This rare exhibit focuses on the distinct period of Gauguin’s career in which interactions with Polynesian culture and people had a complex and inextricable effect on his artistic output.

Gauguin left for Tahiti in 1891 in hopes of finding an idyllic existence. Tahiti was a French territory at the time and Christian missionaries had already had a profound effect on the local population. Their influence is evident in many of Gauguin’s depictions of island life. In his major Tahitian portrait, Vahine no te Tiare (Tahitian Woman with a Flower), 1891, for example, the model is clothed in a Western-style dress rather than the traditional pareo which is more revealing.

Some of Gauguin’s most important paintings were created during his time in Tahiti as well as the Marquesas Islands, where he spent the end of his life. Many of the iconic works in this exhibit were drawn from collections all over the world in order to demonstrate the integral role that the waning island culture had on Gauguin’s mature style.

The exhibit includes extensive examples of Polynesian sculptures, relics and art objects to illustrate the cultural art forms Gauguin may have experienced. The exhibition, organized and curated by Art Centre Basel for the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek in Copenhagen and for the Seattle Art Museum, is accompanied by a substantially comprehensive catalogue.

www.seattleartmuseum.org

Allyn Cantor

FEATURES, NEW & OLD: Vanishing Ice | Kingston Prize | Charles Edenshaw | Jillian McDonald | William Perehudoff | Rembrandt, Van Dyck, Gainsborough:The Treasures of Kenwood House, London | Carrying on Irregardless | Elles: Women Artists from the Centre Pompidou | James Nizam: Trace Heavens | Gaugin & Polynesia | Leslie Dill's Poetic Vision | Preview's 25th Anniversary in Print | The Surrealist Revolution in Art | Carl Beam | Shadows of a Fleeting World: Seattle Camera Club | Picasso: Masterpieces from the Musée National, Paris | Show of Hands: Northwest Women Artists 1880-2010 | Fleeting Beauty: Japanese Woodblock Prints | Judy Radul: World Rehearsal Court | Requiem: BY Photographers Who Died in Vietnam & Indochina | Andreas Gurksy: Werke/Works 80-08 | Chris Jordan: Running the Numbers II | Action-Camera: Beijing Performance Photography | Hiro Yamagata: T R A N S I E N T | Henk Pander: History and Typography | Mandy Greer: Dare alla Luce | Generation: Images of Youth | Rembrandt & Dutch Art's Golden Age | Seattle Art Museum at 75 | Life After Death: New Leipzig Paintings | Joanna Staniszkis: Silk City | Rodin: In His Own Words | First Nations Art: Historic to Contemporary | Maya Lin: Systematic Landscapes | Three Rivers: Wild Waters, Sacred Places | Portland Art Museum | Acting Out: Claude Cahun & Marcel Moore | Isamu Noguchi: Sculptural Design | Rhythm and Change: The Bow in Contemporary Art | Douglas Curran: The Elephant Has Four Hearts | Fay Jones: Recent Paintings | Massive Change: Bruce Mau | Web Images: Quick Guide | Treasures From the Kröller-Müller | Gerry Deiter: Give Peace a Chance | InFest: International Artist-Run Culture | Silver: Dreams, Screens & Theories | Paul Wong: COLLECT | James Turrell: Knowing Light | Joanna Staniszkis: Linen’s Edge | Daniel Joliffe/Jocelyn Robert: Ground Station | Bratsa Bonifacho: Habitat Pixel | Edouardo Kac: Contemporary Art Explores Human Genomics | Douglas Gordon at the VAG | Walk Ways Explore Body-Mind Connection


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