Gregory G. H. Rihn (milwaukeesfs) wrote,
Gregory G. H. Rihn

Milwaukee Art Museum: Impressionism: Masterworks on Paper

Imagine finding that a cache of unpublished manuscripts by all your favorite authors had just come to light. As an aficionado of the Impressionist school of art, that’s rather what attending the exhibition “Impressionism: Masterworks on Paper,” is like. I can’t say that I’ve ever seen all, or even most of the well-known Impressionist paintings, but I do have a pretty good familiarity with the school, and even books tend to concentrate on the oil paintings and “big” works.

So, it’s a real pleasure to get a chance to see this collection of one hundred and twenty five works by Impressionists, almost all of which were new to me. Among the other ways in which the Impressionists differed from traditional schools of art was in treating drawing as being of equal importance with painting, so these works are not “just” sketches or studies for paintings, but fully finished works, often as large, detailed, and colorful as any of the oils.

Artists exhibited in the show include all the major Impressionists, such as Manet, Degas, Renoir, Cézanne, Seurat, Van Gogh, and Toulouse-Lautrec, but also lesser-known artists like Paul Signac, Armand Guillaumin, Berthe Morisot, Eva Gonzales, and Odilon Redon, among others. Pastels, which were popular with the Impressionists, are just one of the mediums used in the show. Gouache, watercolors, crayon, charcoal, and others are represented.
The show was organized by the Milwaukee Art Museum, in cooperation with the Albertina Museum of Vienna, and brings together pieces from a large number of collections, making it a rare opportunity to see them all in one place. This is a must-see if you are a fan of the Impressionists, and very interesting even if your interest in the visual arts is only general. The exhibition continues through January 8th.

The exhibition was co-curated in Milwaukee by Christopher Lloyd, guest curator, and Laurie Winters, director of exhibitions at the Museum.

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Tags: art
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