“It’s precisely an endless kind of art that I’m interested in, rich in all sorts of techniques, suitable for translating all the emotions of nature and humanity.” —Paul Gauguin, 1903
Best known for his paintings of women in idyllic Tahitian settings, Paul Gauguin was an artist whose career spanned the globe and whose works defy categorization. In his famous self-portrait from 1891–90, he chose to represent himself as an artist who excelled in both two and three dimensions, flanking his image with one of his most iconic paintings, The Yellow Christ (1889), and one of his most important ceramics, Self-Portrait in Form of a Grotesque Head (1889).
This exhibition—organized by the Art Institute of Chicago, the Musée d’Orsay, and the Réunion des musées nationaux–Grand Palais—is the first to delve into his radical experiments in the applied arts, underscoring his highly personal achievements not only as a painter but also as a sculptor, ceramist, printmaker, and decorator.
Utilizing new research into his working processes, the exhibition sheds light on Gauguin’s identity as an artist-artisan, looking at moments when he stood at an artistic crossroads and found new direction by exploring unconventional media and methods.
From his early years still grappling with Impressionism (1877–86), to his time in Brittany and Martinique (1886–91), to his first trip to Tahiti (1891–93), to his return to Paris (1893–95), and to his last years in Tahiti and Hiva Oa (1895–1903), Gauguin adapted his progressive and unique approach to the materials of each location and developed ingenious processes in response to various physical or financial limitations—and sometimes simply out of his desire to do what no artist had done before.
The exhibition features some 240 works, including the largest-ever public presentation of his ceramics, the reunion and display of related works side-by-side, and a selection of ethnographic objects that reveals his sources of inspiration. Together these works attest to Gauguin’s expansive notions of what art should be and his embrace of multimedia, installation, and found objects long before these concepts were considered artistic practices.
After its debut at the Art Institute, Gauguin: Artist as Alchemist travels to the Grand Palais in Paris.
Opens June 25 and runs through September 10
More information will be forthcoming.
Monitor the Gauguin: Artist as Alchemist webpage for the latest news.
Art Institute of Chicago Schedule
10:30 AM Arrival
11:15 AM - Noon: Gauguin: Art as Alchemist Exhibition Overview Lecture
Noon - 3:00 PM: Free Time to Visit the Exhibit, Enjoy Lunch and Explore the Museum
Click for Museum Map
Click for Museum Dining Options
Click for Museum Gift Shops
2:45 PM Begin Boarding For Return Trip
3:00 PM Depart for Madison
Bear in mind that our boarding bus route is like Madison Metro or any other municipal bus service. Please arrive early at your boarding stop so you don’t miss the bus. When everyone is aboard and seated, we leave.
– Don’t be late. We can wait just 5 minutes at any one location.
– Pack water bottles and snacks for sustenance on the journey.
6:30 AM Arrive Oakwood for boarding
7:00 AM Arrive Capitol Lakes for boarding.
7:20 AM Arrive East Towne Sears for boarding.
7:30 AM Depart for Chicago
Arrive in Chicago
10:30 AM Arrive Art Institute
2:45 PM Begin boarding
3:00 PM Depart for Madison
Return to Madison (Estimate)
5:45 PM Arrive at East Towne Sears
6:00 PM Arrive at Capitol Lakes
6:20 PM Arrive at Oakwood Village West
Accessibility Policy: On the Van Galder Bus, you must be able to climb steps to board and exit the bus.
Non-Member Policy: Members must register their guests. Each PLATO member is entitled to bring one non-member guest per bus trip. (Members may bring more than one guest near the registration Deadline Date if seats are available. Check with trip organizer.) Non-member guests pay an additional $15.00 registration fee. PLATO Membership is $60.00/year.
Mail-In Registration Form (includes instructions):PLATO Members Form
For further information, contact Gauguin: Artist as Alchemist Exhibition Trip Organizer: Martha Zydowsky, email@example.com and 608-213-6907.