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Impressionist and Modern Masters from the New Orleans Museum of Art

December 8, 2007 - March 9, 2008

“impressive … wonderfully installed … this blockbuster represents a completely solid offering that has a lot to teach viewers about the development of painting in Europe and the United States over the past several centuries.” –Michael Paglia, Westword

“The works themselves are, without hyperbole, some of the finest examples of their times … satisfies like a weekend trip to New York.”  –Noel Black, Bon Vivant

Sign of the Times

Claude Monet and his contemporaries were called the Impressionists and they were a tight-knit group who socialized together, ate together and created art together. Their collective goal was simple yet powerful … to remake the world of art through color, context and light. They wanted to forge a new way that reflected their age, using dynamic techniques and perspectives to capture the immediacy of the fast-changing times.

But to learn their story completely, you need to see what came before the Impressionists as well as what came after them.

Impressionist and Modern Masters from the New Orleans Museum of Art tells that complete story with portraits from the 17th and 18th centuries, including The Baptism of Christ by Luca Giordano from 1684, Marie Antoinette, Queen of France by Elisabeth Louise Vigee Le Brun from 1788, and continues with masterworks by Monet and Paul Gauguin in the late 19th century with the mid-20th century represented by Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Jackson Pollock and Joan Miró.

Prior to the Impressionist movement, art works mainly featured imagery from an aristocratic, religious or mythological realm. Impressionists were not impressed. Their subjects tended to be people and things from the regular, everyday world, like a garden or a café. Prior to the Impressionist movement, audiences for works of art were the wealthy elite, but the Industrial Revolution brought the middle class into the galleries, and they enjoyed seeing their world depicted in art.

Numerous works by Monet, Gauguin, Pierre Auguste Renoir, and Edgar Degas highlight the New Orleans collection. The Impressionists sought to change art, and they did. The movement traveled the globe and continued to morph and grow. The post-Impressionist era artists, in general, became more elemental, reducing complex items into geometrical shapes, striving for an emotional reaction by becoming more primitive in their approach.

Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse led the way, and their work will be strongly represented in the El Pomar Galleries, with new forms like Cubism, Fauvism and Abstract Expressionism.

The Special Exhibition has an emphasis on French artists, like Auguste Rodin, Degas and Matisse, but there is definitely an international flavor present with American icons like Pollock, John Singer Sargent, Mary Cassatt, and Georgia O’Keeffe; Russia’s Wassily Kandinsky; Spain’s Miró; and Germany’s Max Ernst.

These Modern Masters, working in pastels, oil on canvas, bronze and terracotta sculpture and mixed media, will delight the Rocky Mountain Region. A diverse group of world-class artists such as this has never been seen in Colorado Springs … until now at your Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center.

Partial Exhibition Check List

1875 Auguste Rodin, French: The Age of Bronze, bronze
1878 Edgar Degas, French: Dancer in Green, pastel on paper
1891 Paul Gauguin, French: Head of a Tahitian Woman, charcoal on paper
1893 Claude Monet, French: Snow at Giverny, oil on canvas
1898 John Singer Sargent, American: Portrait of Mrs. Asher B. Wertheimer, nee Flora Joseph, oil on canvas
1900 Camille Pissarro, French: Garden of the Tuileries in Winter, oil on canvas
1906 Mary Cassatt, American: Mother and Child in the Conservatory, oil on canvas
1908 Pierre Auguste Renoir, French: Seamstress at a Window, oil on canvas
1926 Wassily Kandinsky, Russian: Sketch for Several Circles, oil on canvas
1927 Max Ernst, German: Gulf Stream, oil on canvas
1937 Georgia O’Keeffe, American: My Back Yard, oil on canvas
1947 Henri Matisse, French: Still Life, graphite
1948 Jackson Pollock, American: Composition (White, Black, Blue and Red on White), casein on paper
1949 Pablo Picasso, Spanish: Mask of a Fawn, bronze
1953 Alberto Giacometti, Swiss: Standing Woman, bronze
1960 Joan Miró, Spanish: Portrait of a Young Woman, oil with sand