Gauguin: Artist as Alchemist

Gaugin: Artist as AlchemistImage courtesy of Art Institute Chicago

Gauguin: Artist as Alchemist
Art Institute Chicago, Chicago
From 25 June to 10 September 2017

 

Best known for his paintings of women in idyllic Tahitian settings, Paul Gauguin was an artist whose career spanned the globe and whose works defy categorization. In his famous self-portrait from 1891–90, he chose to represent himself as an artist who excelled in both two and three dimensions, flanking his image with one of his most iconic paintings, The Yellow Christ (1889), and one of his most important ceramics, Self-Portrait in Form of a Grotesque Head (1889).

 

Gauguin: Artist as Alchemist

Image courtesy of Art Institute Chicago

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This exhibition, organized by the Art Institute of Chicago, the Musée d’Orsay, and the Réunion des musées nationaux–Grand Palais, is the most in-depth examination to date of his radical experiments in the applied arts, underscoring his highly personal achievements not only as a painter but also as a sculptor, ceramist, printmaker, and decorator. Utilizing new research into his working processes, the exhibition sheds light on Gauguin’s identity as an artist-artisan, looking at moments when he stood at an artistic crossroads and found new direction by exploring unconventional media and methods.

 

Gaugin: Artist as Alchemist

Image courtesy of Art Institute Chicago

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Gauguin adapted his progressive and unique approach to the materials of each location and developed ingenious processes in response to various physical or financial limitations, and sometimes simply out of his desire to do what no artist had done before. The exhibition features some 240 works, including the largest-ever public presentation of his ceramics, the reunion and display of related works side-by-side, and a selection of ethnographic objects that reveals his sources of inspiration. Together these works attest to Gauguin’s expansive notions of what art should be and his embrace of multimedia, installation, and found objects long before these concepts were considered artistic practices.

 

more. artic.edu

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