Paul Gauguin’s largest monographic exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York Automatic translate
NEW YORK. The largest monographic exhibition of the French artist Paul Gauguin "Metamorphoses" will be held at MoMA in New York. The main feature of the exhibition is its emphasis on various types of artist’s work: engravings, sculptures, drawings and, of course, paintings. In total, the exhibition presents about 160 works, of which about 130 works on paper. The exhibition will be held from March 8 to June 8, 2014 at the Special Exhibition Gallery of the International Council of Museums of Contemporary Art.
Additional interest in the exhibition is also caused by new data on the possible causes of the artist’s death. So, studies were carried out on four human teeth found in a bottle near the place where the artist’s hut was located on the Marquesas islands. Scientists have compared the DNA of discovered teeth and the DNA of the artist’s grandson, Marcel Tai Gauguin. Tests showed that the probability that the teeth belong to the artist is 90% -99%. An analysis of the composition of the teeth showed a complete absence of mercury in them, which in the 19th century treated syphilis (which was considered the real cause of the artist’s death). Thus, Gauguin either did not suffer from this disease, or was completely not treated for it.
“Metamorphoses” is the result of collaboration between museums, galleries and private collectors, both nationally and internationally. Many of the works exhibited are extremely rarely available for viewing by the public, but the opportunity to see them all together is, in principle, unique. The organizers of the exhibition were curator Star Feig, assistant curator Lote Johnson and the Department of Drawing and Engraving of the Museum of Modern Art.
Paul Gauguin, more than anyone, drew inspiration from observing ordinary people engaged in daily work. Although the artist is considered primarily a pioneer of modernist painting, at different stages of his life he paid great attention to woodcarving, ceramics, lithography, woodcut, monotype and engraving - all of them ignited his creative genius.
Gauguin, who did not have any formal art education, spent a lot of time secluded in various parts of the world, far from Paris. The most famous place of his voluntary “exile” is Tahiti, where he was led by the relentless search for cultures and civilizations not affected by the influence of Europeans. The thirst for knowledge and novelty attracted Gauguin to distant lands and aroused in him an interest in unknown species and techniques in creativity. He sought to master unfamiliar methods in order to create completely new works. The exhibition “Metamorphoses” is dedicated, including to these less well-known, but possibly even more innovative aspects of Gauguin’s creative practice. This is especially true of the rare lithographs that he periodically created, starting from 1889 and until his death in 1903. These remarkable works on paper reflect the artist’s experiments with various media, from radically “primitive” woodcuts to precious watercolor monotypes and large, expressive drawings written in his own unique technique. These works are today the greatest masterpieces in the history of art.
In the creative process, Gauguin often repeated certain key motives, allowing them to develop from one work to another. Thus, we can see the metamorphoses of the main images for the artist over time and in various techniques, including prints.
It was in the print technique that Gauguin was able to very finely convey textured surfaces, nuances of colors, random signs, which, as a result of unusual chemical processes invented by the artist himself, perfectly transmit his gloomy, mysterious and fabulous vision of life in the South Pacific, where he spent a large part of their last 12 years of life. Through printmaking, Gauguin often tried to combine various techniques. His woodcuts, for example, bear a hint of his sculptures, and monotypes often contain combinations of drawing and graphics.
To understand how Gauguin progressed in the study and combination of various techniques, the exhibition at MoMA has a strict chronology, with the exception of some groups of works. For example, a series of works performed for the Volpini cafe in Paris. Gauguin received this order from his dealer Theo Van Gogh, when he was already 41 years old, and he reached his creative maturity. It was a series of engravings made on zinc plates. All 11 works of the series, featuring a provocative choice, both of the plots and the performance technique themselves, will participate in the new exhibition. Gauguin created these, the first in his career engravings, on zinc plates instead of the traditional limestone slabs used for lithography. He experimented with non-standard figurative compositions, details that go beyond the boundaries of the image, and an expressive texture passage. Gauguin printed them on bright yellow paper, which was usually used for posters.
Seven of eleven prints for Volpini were later interpreted by the artist in his paintings and work with ceramics. These were images inspired by the master’s recent trip to Brittany, Arles and Martinique. Three of these highly inventive ceramics created by Gauguin between 1886 and 1888 will be on display next to Volpini’s engravings. This is a cup decorated with a figure of a bather (1887-88), a vase with a figure of a bather under a tree (1887-88) and a vase with a stage in Breton (1886-87). Moreover, the latter reflects especially well the luminous texture and colors that Gauguin managed to get in the process of glass making and firing.
Of the woodworks, it is worth noting the innovative series of works “Noah Noah” (1893-94), which is devoted to a significant part of the exhibition. The artist’s first woodcuts depicting life in Tahiti were dedicated to the life cycle, the original origins of the culture of the local people and their daily lives, love, superstitions, religion and death. The part of the Metamorphosis exhibition devoted to this series includes not only woodcut and monotypes, but also full-scale works by coal, pastel and wooden sculptures.
Anna Sidorova © Gallerix.ru
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