Artist as Alchemist

Edited by Gloria Groom; With contributions by Gloria Groom, Dario Gamboni, Harriet K. Stratis, Ophélie Ferlier-Bouat, Claire Bernard, Allison Perelman, Isabelle Cahn, Estelle Bégué, Nadège Horner, and Elsa Badie Modiri

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An unprecedented exploration of Gauguin’s works in various media, from works on paper to clay and furniture

Paul Gauguin (1848–1903) was a creative force above and beyond his legendary work as a painter. Surveying the full scope of his career-spanning experiments in different media and formats—clay, works on paper, wood, and paint, as well as furniture and decorative friezes—this volume delves into his enduring interest in craft and applied arts, reflecting on their significance to his creative process. Gauguin: Artist as Alchemist draws on extensive new research into the artist’s working methods, presenting him as a consummate craftsman—one whose transmutations of the ordinary yielded new and remarkable forms.
Beautifully designed and illustrated, this book includes essays by an international team of scholars who offer a rich analysis of Gauguin’s oeuvre beyond painting. By embracing other art forms, which offered fewer dominant models to guide his work, Gauguin freed himself from the burden of artistic precedent. In turn, these groundbreaking creative forays, especially in ceramics, gave new direction to his paintings. The authors’ insightful emphasis on craftsmanship deepens our understanding of Gauguin’s considerable achievements as a painter, draftsman, sculptor, ceramist, and printmaker within the history of modern art. 

Gloria Groom is chair of European Painting and Sculpture and the David and Mary Winton Green Curator at the Art Institute of Chicago. Dario Gamboni is full professor at the Universite´ de Gene`ve. Harriet K. Stratis is senior research conservator in the Department of Prints and Drawings at the Art Institute of Chicago. Ophélie Ferlier-Bouat is curator of sculpture at the Musée d’Orsay. Claire Bernardi is curator of paintings at the Musée d’Orsay. Allison Perelman is research associate in the Department of European Painting and Sculpture at the Art Institute of Chicago. Isabelle Cahn is chief curator of paintings at the Muse´e d’Orsay. Estelle Bégué is painting documentalist at the Musée d’Orsay. Nadège Horner is sculpture documentalist at the Musée d’Orsay. Elsa Badie Modiri is painting documentalist at the Musée d’Orsay.


The Art Institute of Chicago

Grand Palais, Paris

ISBN: 9780300217018
Publication Date: July 11, 2017
Publishing Partner: Distributed for the Art Institute of Chicago
336 pages, 9 x 12
408 color + 11 b/w illus.
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