Wednesday, February 18, 2009

PIERRE BONNARD at the MET: The Late Interiors

This is one of PIERRE BONNARD's paintings on exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In addition to this beautiful work, the Met is also holding the first exhibition to focus entirely on the radiant late interiors and still lifes of Pierre Bonnard (1867–1947). Last Sunday, we viewed the exhibit at the Robert Lehman Wing of the Met. There were 80 paintings, drawings, and watercolors dating from the artist’s later years, when he centered his painting activity in his pink stucco house overlooking the Mediterranean in the village of Le Cannet. Working in a converted upstairs bedroom, Bonnard transformed the rooms and objects that surrounded him into iridescent subjects, remarkable in color, light, and vision. Compelling metaphors for a range of sensations, the late paintings convey a disquieting effect. It is these luminous late interiors that define Bonnard’s modernism and prompt a reappraisal of his reputation in the history of 20th-century art. The exhibit runs through April 19, 2009.

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