Paul Gauguin

“Art is either plagiarism or revolution.” Paul Gauguin

"How do you see these trees? Gauguin asks. They are yellow. So, put in yellow; this shadow, rather blue, paint it with pure ultramarine; these red leaves? Put in vermillion (…)" Conversation between Gauguin and Sérusier

Eugène Henri Paul Gauguin; French Post-Impressionist artist who was not well appreciated until after his death. Gauguin was later recognized for his experimental use of color and synthetist style that were distinguishably different from Impressionism. His work was influential to the French avant-garde and many modern artists, such as Picasso and Matisse. Gauguin’s art became popular after his death.

Gauguin’s stubborn pursuit of the primitive in the face of personal and financial difficulties ...sprang from an artistic vision. A vision that took on its own distinctive form across different cultures, ages and religions, making no concessions to established norms for artistic creativity and use of media. The journey that led towards Gauguin’s personal, original artistic idiom includes the physical travels that took him to Denmark, Brittany, Arles, Martinique and Polynesia, but also the inner voyage where he constantly, his mind fueled by countless different impressions and sources, invented and reinvented the primitive in imaginary worlds.

Gauguin’s world of motifs and imagery draws on many sources of inspiration, but always relates to the primitive as a concept.His take on ‘the primitive’ can be understood as something universal, something eternally rooted in human nature, but also as a carefully managed artistic brand that blends fiction and reality at every turn. Despite garnering only limited acclaim in his own day, Gauguin was very aware of tapping into his own era’s fascination with the ‘New’ world, even if he always captures that world through a deeply personal and complex prism.
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