Artist as Alchemist: Major Exhibition Examines Scope of Gauguin's Practice

This summer the Art Institute of Chicago presents a major exhibition of work by the French Post-Impressionist artist Paul Gauguin, highlighting his career not only as an accomplished painter but also as a sculptor, ceramicist, printmaker and decorator. Gauguin: Artist as Alchemist, organized by the Art Institute, Musée D’Orsay and Réunion des musées nationaux–Grand Palais (Rmn-GP) features more than 240 multimedia works, including the largest public presentation of the artist’s ceramic work to date.

Gauguin, best known for his paintings of Tahitian women, was an itinerant; he was born in Paris, but he moved to Peru at a young age only to flee the country with his family after political tides shifted. Throughout his life he lived in Copenhagen, Brittany, Martinique, and the French Polynesian islands, including Tahiti and Hiva-Oa. His paintings, which feature bold colors, stark contrasts and exaggerated proportions, will be presented alongside experiments in clay, stained glass and wood. A selection of ethnographic objects will also be on display. In partnering with the Musée D’Orsay and the Rmn-GP, the Art Institute builds on their strong collection of Gauguin, which includes over 200 works on paper.

Gaugin: Artist as Alchemist opens June 25 and will be on display through September 10, 2017. For more information visit artic.edu.

Top image: Paul Gauguin, Mahana no atua (Day of the God), 1894. Helen Birch Bartlett Memorial Collection.