Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Masterpieces

from the Pearlman Foundation

Exhibition Website

May 21 2023 - Sep 17 2023

See outstanding works by art stars including Cezanne, Degas, Gauguin, van Gogh, Manet, and Modigliani presented within the context of their experiences. This exhibition examines the friendships the artists developed in Paris as well as the many locations and sites—regional, national, and international—that shaped their work individually.

Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Masterpieces brings to Houston paintings from the collection of the Henry and Rose Pearlman Foundation. The collection was assembled by New York–based Henry Pearlman (1895–1974), the son of Russian immigrant parents. He loved discovering hidden masterworks and learning about the social bonds among artists and their aesthetic influences on each other.

The galleries featuring these “artists in motion” are arranged in four sections:

Van Gogh and Gauguin​Vincent van Gogh moved from the Netherlands to England, Belgium, Paris, and then the South of France. Paul Gauguin’s more exotic trajectory took him to Peru, France, Tahiti, and the Marquesas. The two artists developed an alliance after meeting in Paris in 1886.

Soutine, Modigliani, and Lipchitz
Chaïm Soutine, Amedeo Modigliani, and Jacques Lipchitz were all Jewish, with Soutine and Lipchitz emigrating from Eastern Europe and Modigliani from Italy. Each settled in the famed cosmopolitan artists’ residence La Ruche (the Beehive) in Montparnasse.

Cezanne and the Avant-Garde
The Pearlman Collection is particularly strong in the paintings and watercolors of Paul Cezanne. This section considers the significance of the artist’s native Aix-en-Provence on his sense of self and his work. It also covers his time in Paris and the artistic relationships he forged there.

Artists and Collectors
Pearlman sought out artists and developed lasting relationships with Jacques Lipchitz and Austrian painter Oskar Kokoshka. With the advent of World War II, Lipchitz fled Europe for New York and was welcomed by Pearlman and other patrons. Kokoshka took refuge in London, where Pearlman met him and sat for a portrait.

Among the other works featured from the collection are paintings by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Camille Pissarro, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and Alfred Sisley; and sculptures by Wilhelm Lehmbruck and Giacomo Manzù. Selections from the MFAH Beck Collection, assembled during the same period as the Pearlmans’ acquisitions, provide enlightening contexts through which to view both collections.

Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website

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