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Post-Impressionist Masterworks:
A National Gallery Exhibition

Art Gallery of Greater Victoria
Victoria, BC Dec 6-Mar 2

Paul Cézanne - Portrait of a Peasant
Paul Cézanne, Portrait of a Peasant (1900), [Art Gallery of Greater Victoria BC, Dec 6-Mar 2]

The paintings of Post-Impressionist artists were so revolutionary in their time that they were abhorred by critics and the public. Unlike their predecessors, these artists did not paint what they saw. Instead, they freely interpreted their subjects and sought deeper emotional connections through colour and brushwork. The formal qualities of the act of painting liberated them from the constraints of replication.

The AGGV’s exhibit, curated and circulated by the National Gallery of Canada, consists of 15 original works by Cézanne, Matisse, van Gogh, and Gauguin as well as Walter Sickert, Maurice de Vlaminck, Paul Sérusier, Maurice Prendergast, Albert Marquet, Raoul Dufy, Kees van Dongen, André Derain, Maurice Denis and Pierre Bonnard. Complementing the major exhibit are two smaller ones from the AGGV’s own collection: a group of etchings, woodblock prints and lithographs, and a Salon-style display of the sort of traditional 19th Century paintings the Post-Impressionists were rebelling against. A series of lectures by curators and art historians from across the country will be held concurrently.

Highlights of the show include the work of Pierre Bonnard, whose Provence landscape-inspired palette was brilliant and joyous; Paul Cézanne’s spatial explorations and use of colour, which laid the foundation for later experiments with Cubism and Fauvism; and Vincent Van Gogh, known for his paintings from Arles – landscapes filled with colour and ecstatic movement. Of equal significance are the graphic skills of Henri Matisse, a leader of the Fauve group of painters at the beginning of the 20th Century, Paul Gauguin’s works showing flattened, simplified forms with dark outlines and a decorative use of colour.

© Mia Johnson


 Mon, Nov 4, 2002