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From Impressionism to Neo-Impresionism: Reflexions on water and the Paul Signac’s journey
5 September, 2016
LAC in Lugano is dedicating an exhibition to a major representative of art from the end of the 19th century, and great precursor of modern painting: Paul Signac (1863–1935).
The exhibition, the product of fruitful collaboration with Lausanne’s Fondation de l’Hermitage, comprises more than 150 works from an exceptional Swiss private collection, and includes paintings, drawings, watercolours and engravings. This collection in fact represents the largest privately held body of the artist’s work and offers a remarkable view of his entire artistic journey, from the early Impressionist paintings and his period of Neo-impressionism right through to his final work.
The exhibition path itself traces the various phases which marked out Signac’s creative and stylistic evolution, starting from the point at which he abandoned his study of architecture and decided to dedicate himself, self-taught, to painting.
Although he had already had some prior contact with figures within the Impressionist group, his meeting with Georges Seurat in Paris in 1884 was to prove pivotal to his artistic development. From that moment on, the two maintained a close personal friendship and founded, alongside Odilon Redon, the Société des artistes indépendants, which the following year gave rise to the Neo-impressionism artistic movement. Under the influence of Seurat, Signac abandoned the short, quick brush-strokes of the Impressionists, in order to experiment with Pointillism, a pictorial technique which based the construction of the image on minute points of pure colour and drew its inspiration from contemporary scientific research into light.
Thanks to both his pictorial work and theoretical contributions, Signac became a figure of reference for many within subsequent generations, not least those active in the fields of Fauvism and Cubism.