Art Buzz June 21, 2012: Exhibition Review: “Gauguin, Cezanne, Matisse: Visions of Arcadia” at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

ART & ARCHITECTURAL HISTORY NEWS

EXHIBITION NEWS & REVIEWS

Erotic Nudes, Satyrs Frolic in Philadelphia Exhibit

Source: Bloomberg, 6-21-12

The mythic Greek valley Arcadia, a harmonic realm balancing dignity with desire, is an enduring source for artists and the subject of a pleasurable exhibition, “Gauguin, Cezanne, Matisse: Visions of Arcadia,” at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

At the entrance to the show, which opened yesterday, is a long, narrow, light-green hallway that functions like an intimate, shaded glen.

Enlarge image Paul Gauguin

Paul Gauguin

Paul Gauguin

Philadelphia Museum of Art via Bloomberg

“Where Do We Come From? What Are We Doing? Where Are We Going?” (1897-98) by Paul Gauguin. To create this mural-sized piece of paradise, Gauguin fled his family and France, going all the way to Polynesia.

Enlarge image Henri Rousseau

Henri Rousseau

Henri Rousseau

Philadelphia Museum of Art via Bloomberg

“The Dream” (1910) by Henri Rousseau. The large dreamscape, a peaceable kingdom in which lions share space with a reclining nude, is among a room full of masterworks in “Visions of Arcadia.”

Enlarge image Paul Cezanne

Paul Cezanne

Paul Cezanne

Philadelphia Museum of Art via Bloomberg

“The Large Bathers” (1900-06) by Paul Cezanne. The monumental masterpiece, in the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s permanent collection, is among approximately 60 works by 25 artists in a show that explores the dream of Arcadia, a mythic Greek valley of beauty and repose, dignity and desire.

Enlarge image Henri Matisse

Henri Matisse

Henri Matisse

Philadelphia Museum of Art via Bloomberg

“Bathers by a River” (1910-17) by Henri Matisse. Matisse’s large oil painting is part of a once-in-a-lifetime grouping of masterpieces by Poussin, Gauguin, Cezanne, Rousseau, Derain and Picasso. Source: Philadelphia Museum of Art via Bloomberg

Enlarge image Robert Delaunay

Robert Delaunay

Robert Delaunay

Philadelphia Museum of Art via Bloomberg

“The City of Paris” (1910-12) by Robert Delaunay. In this mural-sized painting, Delaunay, inventing Modernist abstraction, looked to the past, fusing his contemporary view of Paris with his vision of Arcadia.

An erotic reverie of poetry and flesh, the passageway is rich with illustrated verse by Stephane Mallarme and Virgil as well as a bounty of small works — frolicking nudes, gods, goddesses, bathers, nymphs and satyrs.

Here, lovers entwine and tussle, fauns eat grapes and prance, and a Matisse woman’s dangling hair spreads like tentacles. Narcissus listens to the laments of Echo in a 19th- century bronze copy of an ancient Roman original….READ MORE

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