Showstoppers: Pierre Bonnard

Spring Break in New York City always sounds like a good idea, but now there’s further encouragement for anyone who needs it: The
Metropolitan Museum of Art’s current exhibition “Pierre Bonnard: The
Late Interiors.”
This is the first exhibition to
focus entirely on the interiors and still lifes of the artist’s later years, which he spent in Le Cannet, a village overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.

Featuring 80 paintings, drawings and watercolors, the show (on display through April 19) demonstrates the artist’s position not so much as “the last Impressionist” as he once called himself, but as an early Modernist. From the museum’s website: “… Bonnard transformed the rooms and objects that
surrounded him into iridescent subjects, remarkable in color, light,
and vision. Compelling metaphors for a range of sensations, the late
paintings convey a disquieting effect. It is these luminous late
interiors that define Bonnard’s modernism and prompt a reappraisal of
his reputation in the history of 20th-century art.”

According to Roberta Smith in her review in The New York Times: “While the Met show is a bit too uneven to make the case, it contains
plenty of wonderful paintings that reveal the artist meditating on the
nature of time, perception, memory and the ways and means of painting,
while reviewing the glories of early modernism and tying up some of its
loose ends. In addition, he brought back to Western painting a radiance
of color little seen since the Sienese.” Read the full review here.

Find out more about the exhibition and view an online gallery at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s website.

[above] Pierre Bonnard (French, 1867-1947), The Table (1925, oil on canvas, 102.9 x 74.3 cm) Tate. Presented by the Courtauld Fund Trustees 1926. © Tate, London 2008
© 2008 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

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