San Francisco, CA
Pierre Bonnard: Painting Arcadia is the first major international presentation of Pierre Bonnard’s work to be mounted on the West Coast in half a century. The exhibition will feature more than 70 works that span the artist’s complete career, from his early Nabi masterpieces, through his experimental photography, to the late interior scenes for which he is best known.
The exhibition celebrates Bonnard (French, 1867–1947) as one of the defining figures of modernism in the transitional period between Impressionism and abstraction. Several themes from Bonnard’s career will emerge, including the artist’s great decorative commissions where the natural world merges with the bright colors and light of the South of France, where windows link interior and exterior spaces, and where intimate scenes disclose unexpected phantasmagorical effects.
Among the many significant paintings on view will be Man and Woman (1900, Musée d’Orsay), in which the artist has depicted his lifelong companion and one of his constant subjects, Marthe de Méligny. Also featured will be such masterpieces as The Boxer (Self-Portrait) (1931, Musée d’Orsay) and The Work Table (1926–1937, National Gallery of Art); and decorative panels and screens, including View from Le Cannet (1927, Musée Bonnard) and Pleasure (1906–1910, Musée d’Orsay). Pierre Bonnard: Painting Arcadia will offer a fresh interpretation of Bonnard's repertoire, and a reconsideration of the artist as one of the foremost practitioners of modernism.
Exhibition overview from museum website
Whether or not you go, the exhibition catalog Pierre Bonnard: Painting Arcadia examines the genius of Pierre Bonnard, whose utopian vision bridged both Impressionism and modernism. Pierre Bonnard is often considered a painter of idyllic scenes, replete with color and serenity, however, this view overlooks many of the most striking aspects of Bonnard's oeuvre. This lavishly-illustrated publication reveals that over the course of his career, Bonnard worked within -- often expanding and challenging -- many genres and techniques. "A visual and intellectual treat in which Bonnard's status is elevated from a forerunner of modernism to one of the greatest painters of the 19th and 20th centuries."