The 2017 special exhibition season concludes with the Art Nouveau designs of Alphonse Mucha (1860–1939).
Drawn from one of the finest private collections of Mucha’s work in the United States, this exhibition features 75 works by the celebrated Czech master, whose varied, expressive, and seductive imagery helped form and later shape the aesthetics of French Art Nouveau at the turn of the 20th century.
Taking inspiration from the unruly aspects of the natural world, Art Nouveau influenced art and architecture, especially in graphic work and illustration, with its sinuous lines and whiplash curves. Through rare, original lithographs and proofs, paintings, drawings, and ephemera, this exhibition examines the broad range of Mucha’s work, largely created during the 1890s, at a time when the emphasis was on creating a new art fit for the new century.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website.
Whether you go or not, Alphonse Mucha surveys the entire breadth of Alphonse Mucha’s work―from illustration and decorative arts to his photography and the historical paintings that were his life’s passion. Alphonse Mucha is known largely for having originated Art Nouveau, when his poster of the actress Sarah Bernhardt became a legendary icon of the movement. Mucha went on to design hundreds of pieces in the decorative arts field, but later distanced himself from the style he pioneered, devoting his time and energy to painting.
This book presents the full array of Mucha’s artistic contributions―not only his posters and jewelry designs but also his design for the pavilion of Bosnia and Herzegovina at the 1900 world’s fair. The book also contains his works on canvas, which include pastels and frescoes, and his magnum opus, The Slavic Epic, a series of 20 paintings depicting the history of his native people. A stunning selection of nearly 500 color illustrations is accompanied with essays that explore Mucha’s style and inspirations, his transition away from the decorative arts, and his forays into photography. Fans of Art Nouveau will treasure this dazzling and unique study of the artist and his contributions to design and illustration.
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