Peggy Guggenheim Collection presents The Avant-gardes of Fin-de-Siecle Paris: Signac, Bonnard, Redon, and their Contemporaries

The Peggy Guggenheim Collection presents The Avant-gardes of Fin-de-Siecle Paris: Signac, Bonnard, Redon, and their Contemporaries on view September 28, 2013–January 6, 2014, curated by Vivien Greene, Curator, 19th- and Early 20th-Century Art, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York.

Paul Signac, Saint-Tropez. Fontaine des Lices, 1895. Oil on canvas, 65 x 81 cm. Private collection.

Paul Signac, Saint-Tropez. Fontaine des Lices, 1895. Oil on canvas, 65 x 81 cm. Private collection.

About 100 paintings, drawings and a significant number of prints, drawn from notable private collections, focus on the avant-gardes of late nineteenth century Paris, with special attention paid to the Neo-Impressionist, Nabi, and Symbolist movements.

The fin de siècle in Paris was a time of political upheaval and cultural transformation during which economic crisis and social problems spurred the rise of radical left-wing groups and an attendant backlash of conservatism. Mirroring the many facets of an anxious, unsettled era, this period saw a spectrum of artistic movements. By the late 1880s, a generation of artists had emerged that included Neo-Impressionists, the Nabis, and Symbolists. Their subject matter remained largely the same as that of their still-active Impressionist antecedents: landscapes, the modern city, leisure-time activities, although these were joined by introspective scenes and fantastical visions. However, the treatment of these familiar subjects shifted. Artists pursued carefully crafted works that were anti-naturalistic in both form and execution and sought to elicit emotions, sensations, and psychic changes in the viewer.

Opening with a selection of Impressionist paintings to contextualize the artistic environment preceding the Neo-Impressionists, the Nabis, and the Symbolists, The Avant-Gardes of Fin-de-Siècle Paris then concentrates on the activities of these movements in the 1890s. Certain artists are explored in depth: Neo-Impressionists Paul Signac and Maximilien Luce; Nabis Maurice Denis, Pierre Bonnard, and Félix Vallotton; Symbolist Odilon Redon.

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