Gauguin Tahiti

Gauguin Tahiti

by Paul Gauguin, Gauguin
     
 

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Now in paperback, Gauguin Tahiti offers an in-depth study of the fabled Polynesian years that have so defined our image of the painter. Alongside essays on every aspect of Gauguin's art, from the legendary canvases to his sculptures, ceramics and innovative graphic works, are discussions of the Polynesian society, culture and religion that helped shape them; an

Overview

Now in paperback, Gauguin Tahiti offers an in-depth study of the fabled Polynesian years that have so defined our image of the painter. Alongside essays on every aspect of Gauguin's art, from the legendary canvases to his sculptures, ceramics and innovative graphic works, are discussions of the Polynesian society, culture and religion that helped shape them; an in-depth biographical narrative, with the many epiphanies, frustrations and discoveries that make his time in the South Seas one of the most mythologically potent episodes in Western art; and a chronicle of his changing fortunes in the century since his death. At the center of it all is Gauguin's 1897 masterpiece, "Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?," the crowning glory of his mature career, presented with unprecedented depth and authority. Over 100 years later, Gauguin remains one of the most enigmatic and attractive figures of nineteenth-century art, the very pivot of modernism, and Gauguin Tahiti portrays this crucial period of his life in all its color and drama. Of the hardback edition, John Richardson wrote in Vanity Fair: "This excellent catalogue sets the record straight." And writing in the New York Observer, Hilton Kramer declared it, "the most exhaustive account of the period that has ever been attempted in a single survey... well-written, scrupulously documented, and lavishly illustrated."

Editorial Reviews

Hilton Kramer
The most exhaustive account of the period that has ever been attempted in a single survey ... well-written, scrupulously documented, and lavishly illustrated.
New York Observer
John Richardson
This excellent catalogue sets the record straight.
Vanity Fair
The Art Newspaper
Attractively designed and profusely illustrated ... provides an excellent narrative of the last dozen years of Gauguin's life.
Library Journal
"Perhaps I loved paintings too much," Gauguin was reported to comment in a rare fit of self-incrimination shortly before his death in 1903. These two works commemorate the centenary of his death at age 54 in the Marquesas Islands. Cachin, former director of the Musee d'Orsay, updated her earlier work on Gauguin, first published in 1968, in a large-format volume issued in 1990. The 2004 version is essentially identical to the 1990 edition in text, layout, plates and reproductions, photos, and captions. One new title is added to the bibliography, thus ignoring substantial newer Gauguin research, such as Daniel Wildenstein's two-volume catalogue raisonn of the paintings. Without significant revisions, it remains a readable and perceptive narrative and critique of Gauguin's much-storied life, career, artistic development, oeuvre in various media, and influences on other artists. The chronology is heavily illustrated with photos, and the color plates are exceptional, even more so here than in the 1990 edition, as high-gloss white paper is used throughout. Gauguin Tahiti pays homage to Gauguin's two long residences in French Polynesia. The exhibit of over 200 paintings, drawings, ceramics, sculptures, and decorative objects-including the revered masterpiece Where Do We Come From?, now hanging in Boston's Museum of Fine Arts-opened at the Grand Palais, Paris, last fall and continues in Boston through June 2004. The delightful and informative catalog concentrates on the works themselves, their power, and the contexts in which they were conceived. Eight scholars, under the direction of Shackelford (chair, art of Europe, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston) and Freches-Thory (chief curator, Musee d'Orsay), contribute 16 essays slotted into four sections: "First Polynesian Sojourn (1891-93)," "Return to France (1893-95)," "Second Polynesian Sojourn (1895-1903)," and "After 1903." Nearly every essay could stand alone as a separate journal article. There is considerable new scholarship represented, particularly in the essays that deal with individual works of art and in the final essays detailing Victor Segalen's role in preserving the carved panels from The House of Pleasure and other of Gauguin's Polynesian oeuvre. Isabelle Cahn ably summarizes Gauguin's belated recognition in France in the first half of the 20th century. Cachin's book is an essential purchase for libraries lacking the 1990 edition, while Gauguin Tahiti is an important catalog purchase for all libraries with Western art collections.-Russell T. Clement, Northwestern Univ. Lib., Evanston, IL Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780878466672
Publisher:
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Publication date:
01/28/2004
Pages:
380
Sales rank:
769,224
Product dimensions:
9.50(w) x 11.00(h) x 1.20(d)

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