The “extraordinary artists” in this exhibition are a “who’s who” of late 19th-century figures who moved art from its traditional academic moorings into the modern era. Many of the DIA’s strongest holdings in works on paper are highlighted, including pastels, etchings, and lithographs. Edgar Degas’ bathers, dancers, and jockeys; Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s portraits of his family and celebrities; Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec’s stage performers; Paul Cézanne’s bathers; and Pierre Bonnard’s and Edouard Vuillard’s intimate interior and city life scenes are among the featured works. Other artists included are Edouard Manet, Paul Gauguin, Georges Seurat, Mary Cassatt, and Camille Pissarro.
These artists are well known for their colorful landscape paintings but prints and drawings of “ordinary people” in black and white and eventually in color are an equally prominent category of subject matter. In their search for themes from everyday life, they saw beyond villages, fields, and beaches for captivating scenes. Images of friends, family members, and folks in a variety of familiar poses— at ease, at play, in contemplation perhaps making art, reading, writing, or sewing— form a rich and interesting aspect of their scenes.Anonymous crowds enjoying public parks, taverns, cafés, theaters, and race tracks populate their views. By shunning topics based on grand historical, religious, or literary themes, these artists bucked the expected order of the art academies. Their sketchy styles which emphasized free brushwork in painting and broken, choppy lines in drawing and printmaking were considered inadequate for finished work ready for exhibition. The odd spatial settings, atypical perspectives, and emphasis on capturing fleeting moments of time and light were also once judged unacceptable.
When the label of “Impressionism” was first hung on Degas, Renoir and their colleagues in the 1870s, it was meant derisively. By the 1890s, it was the new normal and most progressive manner in which to create sparking a legacy that lasted for decades. What began as a break-away from the establishment by a group of young, relatively unknown and radical artists became one of the most influential art phenomenon in history. From ordinary, everyday aspirations of wanting nothing more than pursuing wider avenues for exhibiting their work, promoting their message and increasing their sales, these artists liberalized practices and attitudes toward art in an almost unprecedented manner.
Their popularity and fame only continue to increase.
This exhibition is organized by the Detroit Institute of Arts. Support has been provided by the DIA’s Woman’s Committee.
Detroit Institute of Arts 19.09.2014 -29.03.2015
Website & source : DIA
Website : Detroit
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