GEORGES SEURAT. FIGURE IN SPACE
French Neo-Impressionist Georges Seurat is considered today to be one of the icons of nineteenth-century art and the most important exponent of Pointillism, a style of painting developed by the artist. He meticulously composed his works from countless small spots of paint arranged in juxtaposition; these spots blend in the viewer's retina, giving rise to exceptional worlds of color. No other pictorial subject is able to tell so much about Seurat's art as the figure in the landscape. Light-dark contrasts swirl about and accentuate his figures, lending them an unreal presence.
By considering Seurat's figure paintings, the exhibition will highlight a point of intersection in his creative output: the artist looked to groups such as the Ecole de Barbizon, to epochs such as the Renaissance, and to fellow artists such as Puvis de Chavannes, but realized his subjects via a new painting technique and innovative compositions. Seurat thus smoothed the way from the nineteenth to the twentieth century for the Impressionists and became an important source of inspiration for later artists.
"Figure in space" illustrates the tremendous innovations in Seurat's paintings and drawings: the artist's dense weave of pencil strokes cover the paper, making his indeterminate, floating motifs either stand out or disappear, while distinct light and dark contrasts surround and accentuate the figures. In his paintings, Seurat transposed his subjects into his technique, Pointillism, as well as into his innovative compositions. In later pieces, he even repeated and varied human forms within a single work.