Top Museum Exhibits: “Paul Gauguin – The Art Of Invention” At The St. Louis Art Museum (Until Sept. 15)

From an Antiques and the Arts Weekly:

Paul Gauguin The Art of Invention St. Louis Art Museum 2019Comprising 55 Gauguin masterworks on loan from Copenhagen’s Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, as well as some 35 objects from the collection of the Saint Louis Art Museum, “Paul Gauguin: The Art of Invention,” now on view in St Louis, offers a superb overview and deep insight into the life, thought and art of this quasi-mythological being whose shadow looms large not only over artistic Modernism but over the very romantic notion of the artist who sacrifices everything for art.

Along with many other artists in every discipline, Gauguin has been reappraised in recent years. His freedom and devotion to art above all came at a steep cost to others: the wife and children he left behind in Europe, the Native child brides he took in the South Seas and the children they bore him and hosts of friends – Van Gogh and Pissarro among them – who felt the sting of his wrathful restlessness.

French art historian Jean Leymarie, in his short, perfect essay on Paul Gauguin, published in the gorgeous dusty columns of the 1962 Encyclopedia of Art, sums up the birth of Modernism: “Painters no longer attempted to represent the external world by creating the illusion of an image, but rather to suggest their interior dreams through allusive symbols and the multiplication of decorative forms; line and color were invested with the role of expressive vehicles and became the abstract equivalents of sensation. This change, amounting to the overthrow of the empirical and optical vision that had come down from the Renaissance, was perhaps the most violent about-face in modern art. The way, from that time, was open, and we know how boldly Gauguin proceeded.”

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