Gauguin

Jean Leymarie, Author
Jean Leymarie, Author Rizzoli International Publications $25 (98p) ISBN 978-0-8478-1050-5
Reviewed on: 03/31/1990
Release date: 04/01/1990
This attractive volume cursorily analyzes the works on paper of the postimpressionist Gauguin (1848-1903). Leymarie, former director of the Musee Nationale Moderne in Paris, fails to integrate his text (first published in 1961 in Switzerland) with the 50 illustrations reproduced here, 48 of which are in color--watercolors; gouaches; drawings executed in pen-and-ink, pencil, chalk or charcoal; woodcuts; monotypes. Leymarie succeeds in elucidating the relations of these works to Gauguin's paintings as well as to contemporaneous art; however, he rarely evaluates the works in and of themselves. The majority of these rarely seen, exquisite renderings, including pages from sketchbooks and journals such as Noa Noa (Gauguin's account of his travels in Tahiti), evince Gauguin's interest in the natives of Brittany and of the tropics. Not even Leymarie's florid explanations of Gauguin's motives for his journeys, such as his failed marriage and his disillusionment with ``civilization,'' lessen the impact of Gauguin's innovative incorporation of highly charged color and abstract line. (Aug.)
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