National Gallery London Gauguin Portraits
National Gallery London Gauguin Portraits: As the art critic Waldemar Januszczak recently wrote in one of the ‘Sundays’ on the ‘usual artists’ ‘So here we all are (the reviewers and critics) pedalling round the same racetrack, seeing the same events, coming to similar conclusions, in the same order. It’s ghastly, and it’s anti-art. So how to break out of it?’
That’s what I thought about the National Gallery’s Gauguin Portraits exhibition – before I entered. So I took a different stance.
Rather than simple wander around, using the usual 27.8 seconds viewing each picture, I decided to rather take in just a few of the works and make a comparison of Gauguin’s earlier works immediately against those of his work in Pont-Aven and eventually Polynesia.
Gauguin‘s story is well known and I’ll not repeat it here. I simply want to drawn a comparison by referring the reader to a few of the main works on display at the National Gallery.
Gauguin then moves to work in Brittany and Arles: note how his style changes. Gauguin now paints as the mood takes him, breaking away from Impressionism and indeed ‘Academic’. “They heed only the eye and neglect the mysterious centres of thought” “Away from superficiality and full of affectations”.
And in Polynesia, an even greater difference in style.
The National Gallery, as ever provides a fascinating insight into particular artists and movements. Pictures hanging in close proximity to one another, it’s a pleasure and exciting journey to make comparisons.