Georges Seurat, 1859-1891: 1859-1891

Robert Herbert, Author, Gary Tinterow, With, Anne Distel, With Metropolitan Museum of Art New York $70 (450p) ISBN 978-0-8109-6410-5
This extraordinary volume presents a Seurat far more fascinating and complex than the standard image of the coolly scientific dot painter of picnickers and circuses. Cataloguing a large retrospective now at New York's Metropolitan Museum on the centenary of the artist's death, the book gives us a Seurat of many moods and styles. His drawings include powerful naturalistic pictures of laborers, as well as shadowy, mystical portraits and symbolic landscapes suggestive of Odilon Redon. His meditative seascapes suggest a spiritual cleansing, and the solitary figures on dusky streets prefigure the modern age of urban atomization. Seurat mocked commercialized big-city entertainment with his puppetlike figures. His rarely seen female nudes bring impetuosity and freshness to a classic theme. The reproductions are superb. The text, written by Herbert ( Seurat's Drawings ) in collaboration with scholars from the Met and the Musee d'Orsay, Paris, intertwines the life and work of the enormously prolific artist who died at the age of 31. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 09/02/1991
Release date: 09/01/1991
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