D’ou venons-nous? Que sommes-nous? Ou allons-nous? (Where do we come from? What are we? Where are we going?) Paul Gauguin, (1897-98). Via MOMAT
MOMAT, the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, is celebrating Paul Gauguin’s masterpiece D’ou venons-nous? Que sommes-nous? Ou allons-nous? (Where do we come from? What are we? Where are we going?) through September 23rd. This exhibition brings Gauguin’s celebrated painting to Japan for the first time. In fact, it is only the third occasion that the painting has left the USA since its inclusion in the permanent collection in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston in 1936.
E haere oe i hia (Where are you going?), Paul Gauguin (1892). Via MOMAT
MOMAT, the National Museum of Modern Art Homepage [MOMAT]
Paul Gauguin, Exhibition Page [MOMAT]
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston [MFA, Boston]
Huge Gauguin masterpiece makes rare visit to Japan [Reuters.com]
Nagoya/Boston Museum of Fine Arts Celebrates 10th Anniversary [ArtDaily]
More text and pictures after the jump….
Oviri, Paul Gauguin (1894-95). Via MOMAT
In light of the assumption that Gauguin almost certainly created D’ou venons-nous? Que sommes-nous? Ou allons-nous? while under the influence of the Western tradition of fresco painting, MOMAT has chosen to exhibit the enormous painting alone in the museum’s special exhibition gallery. The intention inherent in this choice is to emphasize the enormity of the enigmatic questions Gauguin presents to the viewer.
Loss of Virginity, Paul Gauguin (1890-91). Via MOMAT
Malcolm Rogers, of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, has stated that the painting, “sums up the uncertainty in human life, it has universal relevance, which is what makes it fascinating, as the questions posed are ones that everybody will think about at some point in their life“. In light of the potency of these questions, MOMAT has not abandoned the viewer unaided in the quest to consider the answers; in one corner of the room, several monitors deliver hints to encourage the audience.
Ta nave nave fenua (The delightful land), Paul Gaugin (1892). Via MOMAT
Exotic Eve, Paul Gauguin (1890-4). Via MOMAT
While D’ou venons-nous? Que sommes-nous? Ou allons-nous? remains isolated, the rest of the exhibition chronicles Gauguin’s work from the early days of his artistic career spent in Brittany to works created in his final years. These paintings all interconnect themes central to Gauguin’s oeuvre such as Eve in the Garden of Eden and the “savage man” as depicted in the artist’s self-portraits.
Ford (Running away), Paul Gauguin (1891). Via MOMAT
Faa iheihe, Paul Gauguin (1898). Via MOMAT