TThe work of French painter Paul Cezanne has long fascinated his fellow artists. This is a key result of a new exhibition at the Chicago Institute of the Arts that creates Cezanne as a bridge from the Impressionists to future generations of artists such as Picasso and Matisse, who were co-owners of many of the exhibited works.
Cezanne’s first major retrospective is at a museum in more than 70 years and somewhere in the United States in 25, the exhibition’s chickens are Gloria Groome, a 19th-century European specialist in painting, and Caitlin Haskell, who focuses on contemporary art. . Interdepartmental cooperation is unusual for the Institute of Arts. “But we really feel that it doesn’t fit into the Impressionist circle, and it’s so important for the 20th and 21st centuries,” Groom says. “If there’s one artist who can help you understand what modernism is in the 19th and 20th centuries, Cezanne can do it,” Haskel adds.
We asked the curators to tell us about four of their favorites from the show for 125 works, which will open on May 15 and last until September 5.
1. The eternal feminine
groom: “At this time he has his second exhibition with the Impressionists. You see these directional strokes that he uses in his landscapes, but now he applies them to a painting that is solely his imagination. The theme is so ambiguous and strange, but you can see that it pays homage to plein air painting, to the tradition of nude and baroque painting. He combines all this into this rather small canvas, and it already shows the beginnings of where it is developing.
2. Still life with fruit
Haskell: “There is a very persistent materiality of the smear. If previous artists were interested in making the surface smooth, correct and finished, Cezanne didn’t do that at all. The motifs in the wallpaper jump forward and seem to be in the same plane with the fruit on the table. The first owner of this painting was Paul Gauguin, and in the collection of the Art Institute we have a painting by Gauguin, where he includes a painting by Cezanne in the background. So you really have a sense of how artistic lines are happening before your eyes. ”
3. Still life with a jar of ginger and eggplant
groom: “We go further in his career, where he uses this patterned tablecloth as something almost topographical – he has his own dynamism. We have six such paintings on blue tablecloths at the exhibition. He allows his paint and what he feels to lead to subsequent strokes. Nothing is truly balanced, and yet there is a sense of complete control. It takes a slow look, because when you start looking at how the background of this table and wallpaper is moving forward and everything that’s going on in it, it’s mesmerizing – and that’s exactly what fascinates artists of this time and later. ”
4. Swimmers (Les Grandes Baigneuses)
Haskell: “This version of The Grand Bathers from the National Gallery in London will be the culmination of the exhibition. This is one of the paintings known to us, which was seen by Fauvists, Cubists, artists interested in Expressionism, at the Cezanne Memorial Exhibition in Paris in 1907. This moment is a revelation, because Cezanne worked in the south of France, people did not see how he developed. And suddenly you have the full scope of work. It’s just that this amazing moment leads to several different styles of avant-garde painting. “