Design for a China Plate, 1889, by Paul Gauguin (Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute)
Special Installation: Prints by Paul Gauguin
April 8, 2005 - June 19, 2005
Paul Gauguin was one of the most innovative printmakers of the late nineteenth century. In 1889, he exhibited his first prints at the Café Volpini in Paris, a striking series of zincographs (lithographs from zinc plates) on bright yellow paper that expressed his distinctive style based on flat shapes and strong outlines. Inspired by his subsequent travels to the South Seas, he took up the largely forgotten medium of woodcut and revitalized it as a bold and expressive technique that he considered both "primitive" and modern. Originally intended to accompany an autobiographical manuscript about his Tahitian journey, Gauguin’s Noa Noa woodcuts are his most unconventional printed images, both in terms of their rich symbolic content and their technical audacity.