Exhibition of French still lifes to open at Toledo Museum of Art

Press Staff Writer

        “One Each: Still Lifes by Pissarro, Cézanne, Manet & Friends” – a selection of richly evocative still lifes painted by French artists in the 1860s – opens Saturday, Jan. 18, at the Toledo Museum of Art (TMA).
        Organized in partnership with the Cincinnati Art Museum, the exhibition will be on view in Gallery 18 from Jan. 18 to April 12. It will then travel to Cincinnati, where it can be seen from May 15 to Aug. 9.
        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. 
        “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.”
        Curator lecture and master series talk
        On Saturday, Jan. 18 at 2 p.m. in the Museum’s Little Theater, Nichols will give a free lecture entitled, “The Oxymoronic Genre – Still Life Painting.”
        On Thursday, Feb. 27 at 6 p.m. in the Peristyle Theater, Ivan Gaskell, professor of cultural history at the Bard Graduate Center in New York City, will offer a Masters Series lecture titled, “Still Life, Trompe l’oeil, and Vanity.”                 The lecture will explore 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.
        “One Each: Still Lifes by Pissarro, Cézanne, Manet & Friends” is sponsored by 2020 Exhibition Program Sponsor ProMedica with additional support from the Ohio Arts Council and Galerie Coatalem, Paris. The Masters Series is supported in part by the TMA Ambassadors.


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