9780300088601: Paul Signac, 1863-1935

This book, the catalogue of the first retrospective of the work of the French Neoimpressionist artist Paul Signac to be held in nearly forty years, accompanies the 2001 exhibition organised by the Reunion des Musees Nationaux/Musee d'Orsay, Paris, the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. This long overdue tribute to Signac's power of expression and artistic influence features some two hundred paintings, drawings, watercolours, and prints from public and private collections worldwide. Fully illustrated in colour and discussed in individual entries, these works offer an unprecedented overview of Signac's fifty-year career. Signac's artistic development began with the luminous plein air paintings he made in the early 1880s which reveal the lessons he absorbed from Monet, Guillaumin, and other leading Impressionists. From 1884 until 1891 Signac's close association with Georges Seurat encouraged his explorations of colour harmony, contrasts, and Neoimpressionist technique. In the scintillating works of his maturity the rigours of Pointillism gave way to richly patterned, decorative colour surfaces. In a series of essays the exhibition's curators discuss Signac's richly interesting career from a variety of perspectives. John Leighton, Director of the Van Gogh Museum, provides an introductory essay that chronicles Signac's triumphs as a painter. The well-known Signac scholar Marina Ferretti Bocquillon focuses on Signac's achievements as a draftsman and watercolourist, and Sjraar van Heugten, Chief Curator of the Van Gogh Museum, summarises Signac's activity as a printmaker. Anne Distel, Chief Curator of the Musee d'Orsay, examines Signac's role as a promoter of his own works and those of his colleagues and describes a host of other activities - beyond painting - that engaged Signac's interest. The final essays in this volume shed new light on Signac's appreciation of the works of his predecessors, contemporaries, and followers - as evidenced in his artworks, in his published and unpublished writings, and in his private collection. Susan Alyson Stein, Associate Curator of European Paintings, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, examines the ways Signac understood the genius of such painters as Delacroix, Monet, Renoir, Cezanne, Van Gogh, Bonnard, and Matisse. Marina Ferretti Bocquillon explores the Signac's role as a collector, providing a wealth of new information about the works he owned by fellow artists. Contributor Kathryn Calley Galitz is Research Associate in the Department of European Paintings at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Lavishly illustrated with comparative and documentary photographs, the volume includes an annotated chronology and a map that pinpoints the sites depicted in Signac's works.

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Review:

While Georges Seurat is the best-known pointillist, he wasn't the only one. Signac: 1863-1935 reintroduces a tireless advocate of neo-impressionism, a painter whose suburban imagery and leisured lifestyle belied his left-wing political views. Lively essays by scholars and curators portray different facets of Paul Signac's career. Virtually self-taught, he found the catalyst for his mature style in the small-scale brushwork of the slightly older Seurat, but replaced his serene, formal quality with overtly decorative patterning. As a yachtsman, Signac was drawn to marine subjects such as boats gliding on sparkling water at different times of day. After moving from Paris to Saint-Tropez in 1892, he took up watercolor, ideal for painting sunsets. Attempts at translating his political convictions into art (culminating with the monumental figure of a worker wielding a pickax) met with failure. But Signac's brilliance as a colorist is indisputable, infusing each of the 223 plates in this handsome book. --Cathy Curtis

From the Publisher:

This book is the catalogue of the first retrospective of Signac's work in nearly forty years, which has been held at the Réunion des Musées Nationaux/Musée d'Orsay, Paris, and the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, and will be at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York from October 9 to December 30, 2001.

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Book Description Book Condition: New. This unprecedented overview of Signac's fifty-year career features paintings, drawings, watercolours and prints from public and private collections worldwide. Signac's artistic development began with the luminous plein air paintings he made in the early 1880s, which reveal the lessons he absorbed from Monet, Guillaumin and other leading Impressionists. From 1884 until 1891 his close association with Seurat encouraged the exploration of colour harmony, contrasts and Neo-Impressionist technique. In the scintillating works of his maturity, the rigours of Pointillism gave way to richly patterned, decorative colour surfaces. A series of essays discusses the artist's career and influence from a variety of perspectives. Bookseller Inventory # 1448

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