Gauguin's Skirt is about contemporary Tahitians and a long-dead French painter, sex today and sex in the late nineteenth century, and colonialism new and old. It is concerned with Paul Gauguin's practices as an artist and with the practice of daily life in Polynesia. Written on the boundary between art history and anthropology, it reads like a biography and a mystery. Paul Gauguin traveled to Tahiti in 1891 in search of an exotic paradise. What he found was a French colony divided by race, sex, and class. At once, the artist began to explore the complexities of his world through the media of drawing, painting, printmaking, and sculpting. His work depicts ancient and modern Tahitians at leisure and labor in the fecund landscape of Polynesia; it exposes as well the contradictory perspective of an avant-garde artist exiled both from the modern French metropolis and from the secrets and traditions of indigenous culture. Based upon extensive archival and ethnographic research in France and Tahiti, Gauguin's Skirt challenges interpretations of the political and gender content of the notorious artist's pictures. It compares fin-de-siĆ...cle European and Polynesian sexualities and spiritualities, and it argues that many of Gauguin's most famous pictures are far more knowing than had previously been supposed.
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Stephen F. Eisenman is Professor of Art History at Occidental College, Los Angeles.Review:
Simultaneously advances our comprehension of Gauguin and our awareness of the complex condition of today's Tahitian society. -- Art in America
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Book Description Thames & Hudson, 1997. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110500017662
Book Description Thames & Hudson. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0500017662 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW7.1121580