Pierre Bonnard: The Work of Art, Suspending Time

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9789055446049: Pierre Bonnard: The Work of Art, Suspending Time

Among those painters who incontestably left their mark on twentieth-century art, Bonnard rises to the top again and again. Museums, scholars and viewers regularly return to his oeuvre for reinterpretation, passionate and contradictory, of what it means to be Modern. In having followed a very personal calling--literally and figuratively interior, particularly compared to the work of friends like Matisse--Bonnard created work as innovative as any of his contemporaries'. His recurring themes--the nude (both classical and erotic), the landscape, domestic life, and the self-portrait--evolve with him from the nineteenth century to the twentieth, from Paris to the south of France, alive with constant reinvention. Although for Bonnard the subject was always important, his work navigates a sophisticated dialectic between the givens of perception and memory, between the image before our eyes and all that it suggests. This substantial reference includes work from the Hermitage and the Museum of Modern Art of the City of Paris, which sponsored its publication. Contributors include Yve-Alain Bois, Sarah Whitfield, and Georges Roque. Photographs from Dina Verny and Henri Cartier-Bresson among others document the era and Bonnard's models as he saw them.

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About the Author:

Pierre Bonnard was born in 1867 in Fontenay-aux-Roses, outside Paris. He studied law, but had taken painting as his profession by his mid-20s, and had his first gallery exhibit before he was 30. He showed in the Salon des Independants and worked with a group of painters, including Edouard Vuillard and Maurice Denis, who called themselves the Nabis, from the Hebrew for prophet. Influences on his work ranged from Symbolism to Cubism, and in every variation of his style, his longtime muse and eventual wife Marthe appears over and over, ever youthful. His reputation has strengthened considerably since his death in 1947, so much so, as Stanley Meisler writes, "that Bonnard is now widely regarded as one of our century's most complex and masterful painters".

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