Museum  January 16, 2020

ONE EACH: Still Lifes by Pissarro, Cézanne, Manet & Friends

Gustave Courbet (French,1819–1877), The Trellis, 1862. Oil on canvas. Toledo Museum of Art, Purchased with funds from the Libbey Endowment, Gift of Edward Drummond Libbey, 1950.309

TOLEDO, Ohio – ONE EACH: Still Lifes by Pissarro, Cézanne, Manet & Friends opens Saturday, January 18, at the Toledo Museum of Art (TMA). Organized in partnership with the Cincinnati Art Museum, the exhibition promises to be a focused but rewarding experience of a selection of richly evocative still lifes painted by French artists in the 1860s.

ONE EACH: Still Lifes by Pissarro, Cézanne, Manet & Friends will be on view in Gallery 18 at TMA from January 18 to April 12, 2020. It will then travel to Cincinnati, where it can be seen from May 15 to August 9, 2020.

The exhibition is curated by TMA’s Lawrence W. Nichols, the William Hutton senior curator, European & American painting and sculpture before 1900, and Peter Jonathan Bell, Cincinnati’s associate curator of European paintings, sculpture and drawings.

One Each invites a dialogue with the past, exploring the impact that the still lifes of the 1860s had on art movements in the 20th century, including, and perhaps most importantly, Cubism.

Camille Pissarro (French,1830-1903), Still Life, 1867. Oil on canvas. Toledo Museum of Art, Purchased with funds from the Libbey Endowment, Gift of Edward Drummond Libbey, 1949.6

“With its solemnity as well as its spontaneity, Camille Pissarro’s Still Life of 1867 is one of the most rewarding and mesmerizing compositions in the collection of the Toledo Museum of Art,” Nichols said. “This exhibition will place this masterpiece within the context of the important developments in French still life paintings in this vital decade.”

Also included are sterling examples from the hand of Édouard Manet, regarded as the father of modern painting, and Paul Cézanne, considered to have been the driving precursor of Cubism, the early 20th century’s major art movement. In addition, superb paintings by Claude Monet, Henri Fantin-Latour and Gustave Courbet will be on view.

“Just as these French painters have inspired countless other artists, this exhibition will nurture and provoke the artistic spirit in our community,” Nichols said. “The artists’ presentation of the tangible, experiential world will resonate with visitors.”

While One Each seeks to connect this decade of paintings with both past and future, the goal is similar to the object of still life paintings – visual splendor.

“The painters were fully aware of the tradition of still life representations dating back centuries,” Nichols said. “The desire and motivation to realistically represent things is constant.”

Paul Cézanne (1839-1906), Still Life with Bread and Eggs, 1865. Oil on canvas. Cincinnati Art Museum, Gift of Mary E. Johnston, 1955.73

CURATOR LECTURE AND MASTERS SERIES TALK

The Oxymoronic Genre – Still Life Painting

Saturday, Jan. 18, 2 p.m. in the Little Theater

“Fish flap and flowers flutter, yet such images are curiously labeled still lifes.” One Each curator Larry Nichols will give a free lecture that explores this beguiling and deceptively complex art form.

Masters Series: Still Life, Trompe l’oeil, and Vanity

Thursday, Feb. 27 at 6 p.m. in the Peristyle Theater

In this Masters Series lecture, Ivan Gaskell, professor of cultural history at the Bard Graduate Center in New York City, explores how artists have depicted ordinary items, including those that constitute still lifes, in an effort to trick the beholder's eyes into thinking that those very items are actually present. Contrary to earlier discussions of trompe l'oeil (fooling the eye), this lecture suggests that if the beholder remains unaware that the illusion is just that – an illusion – the painter has failed. Drawing on examples from centuries of European and North American art, this lecture demonstrates that if trompe l'oeil painters are to receive credit for their artistry and skill, what at first seems to be a painterly deception must be seen for what it is: an artwork, not reality.

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