mardi 26 octobre 2010

Gauguin's exhibit at the Tate Museum

Was Arthur Gauguin only a scandalous man or a genuine artist ? One century after his death his paintings are showed in numerous places, especially at the Grand Palais in Paris and at the Tate Museum in London.
Most people will only see the gift he had as a painter when seeing the exhibit. And they will be rigth ! I'm really sad to read that some journalists or critics try to sully his art these previous days by underlying his personal side.
I think that writing about the fact that Arthur Gauguin left his wife and his five children to devote himself to his paintings does not really help to understand his art. I agree that he was certainly fiendish, that he slept with very young girls when living in Tahiti etc. But he also did magnificent portraits of these women. I don't want to be misunderstood. Of course, Arthur Gauguin could not be forgiven for some sexual deviations because he was a great artist. But his paintings should not be condemned because of these acts.
I'm still astonished when I look at Nevermore O Tahiti. This woman lying naked has one of the most intense look I have ever seen in paintings !
And this exhibit is not only about Tahiti. There are also a lot of his really beautiful Breton landscapes. These ones are not only my favorite because they are really well-painted or because of the subject. I love them because they express all the love Gauguin had for Brittany. He painted it not the way he saw it but the way he felt it. And his talent is actually the fact that we feel the same when watching them...

So here is my only piece of advice : go for it ! There are many things to tell about who was Gauguin and how he lived but there is even more to say about his paintings. And no one can pretend to really understand him without judging his personal life in the light of his works and vice versa.

Nevermore O Tahiti