<i>Gauguin: Metamorphoses</i> at MoMA
Gauguin: Metamorphoses is the first major monographic exhibition on Paul Gauguin (French, 1848-1903) ever presented at MoMA, and the first major exhibition to focus particularly on the artist’s rare and extraordinary prints and transfer drawings and their relationship to his paintings and his sculptures. Approximately 160 works, including some 130 works on paper and a critical selection of some 30 related paintings and sculptures, will be on view from March 8 through June 8, 2014, in The International Council of The Museum of Modern Art Special Exhibition Gallery. Featuring loans from many different collections—national and international, public and private—the exhibition offers an extraordinary opportunity to see these works brought together. Many have rarely if ever been shown in the United States. Gauguin: Metamorphoses is organized by Starr Figura, The Phyllis Ann and Walter Borten Associate Curator, with Lotte Johnson, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Drawings and Prints, The Museum of Modern Art.
More than any other major artist of his generation, Paul Gauguin drew inspiration from working across mediums. Though most often celebrated as a pioneer of modernist painting, at various moments Gauguin was also intensely engaged with wood carving, ceramics, lithography, woodcut, monotype, and transfer drawing—all mediums that ignited his creativity. Gauguin, who had no formal artistic training, led a peripatetic life, settling for extended periods in different regions of the world—including, most famously, Tahiti. His search for a culture unspoiled by European mores and constraints paralleled his eagerness to work with unfamiliar techniques in order to create entirely new types of artworks.
This exhibition focuses on these less well-known but arguably even more innovative aspects of Gauguin’s practice, especially the rare and extraordinary prints he created in several discrete bursts of activity from 1889 until his death in 1903. These remarkable works on paper reflect Gauguin’s experiments with a range of mediums, from radically “primitive” woodcuts to jewel-like watercolor monotypes and large, evocative transfer drawings that rank among the great masterpieces in the history of the graphic arts.
Organized by Starr Figura, The Phyllis Ann and Walter Borten Associate Curator, with Lotte Johnson, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Drawings and Prints
The exhibition is supported by BNP Paribas, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, Anna Marie and Robert F. Shapiro, and by Denise LeFrak in memory of Ethel LeFrak.
Additional funding is provided by the MoMA Annual Exhibition Fund.
This exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.