Gauguin & Polynesia: An Elusive ParadiseMonday May 14th
Seattle Art Museum (event info)
1300 1st Avenue, Seattle (map)
Seattle Art Museum presents the only United States stop for Gauguin & Polynesia: An Elusive Paradise, a landmark show highlighting the complex relationship between Paul Gauguin’s work and the art and culture of Polynesia. The exhibition, on view at SAM Downtown February 9 through April 29, 2012, includes about 60 of Gauguin’s brilliantly hued paintings, sculptures and works on paper, which are displayed alongside 60 major examples of Polynesian sculpture that fueled his search for the exotic. Organized by the Art Centre Basel, the show is comprised of works on loan from some of the world’s most prestigious museums and private collections.
Gauguin (1848–1903) is one of the most influential and celebrated artists of the late nineteenth century. From early on in his career he sought inspiration from outside French society in both his life and his work. While his Polynesian experience was a defining factor in both his art and his posthumous reputation, many exhibitions devoted to his work have treated the artist’s direct relationship with Polynesian art as only one small part of his larger enterprise. Through a balanced analysis of Polynesian art alongside Gauguin’s works, this exhibition shifts the emphasis and brings Polynesian arts and culture into the center of Gauguin studies.