Together with the Art Institute of Chicago and Michigan Avenue magazine, Oak Street Design invites you to participate in Project Windows 2017. Let the Art Institute of Chicago's upcoming exhibition, Gauguin: Artist as Alchemist, be your inspiration as you participate in Chicago's premier window design competition celebrating the art of design and visual merchandising.
Gauguin: Artist as Alchemist
The Art Institute of Chicago
June 25, 2017–September 10, 2017
Réunion des Musées Nationaux, Grand Palais
October 9, 2017–January 21, 2018
The exhibition Gauguin: Artist as Alchemist—organized by the Art Institute of Chicago and the Musée d’Orsay, Paris—is the first to examine the artist’s all-consuming interest in craft and applied decorative arts, moving beyond Paul Gauguin’s renowned work as a painter. Looking at the significance of materials and process to his creative output in three dimensions, the exhibition considers Gauguin’s work as both an artist and artisan and explores the moments he stood at artistic crossroads—moments of transition and breakthrough—as he experimented with various media. Although Gauguin sought to master the “high” art of painting, he found greater freedom of expression through his experiments with the “craft” arts—ceramics, woodcarving, printmaking, and furniture decoration—which then often informed his works on canvas. These moments of investigation and discovery span his career: 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 finally to his last voyage to Tahiti and Hiva Oa (1895–1903). Rather than offering a strictly chronological retrospective, the exhibition will instead focus on his repurposing of specific images and ideas, through which he experimented in a variety of media.
Guided by new research into Gauguin’s working processes, the exhibition underscores the artist’s achievement not only as a painter, but also as a sculptor, printmaker, and decorator whose expansive notions on what art should be and do embraced truly modern concepts—multimedia work, installation, and found objects—long before these approaches became part of the artistic tool set.