‘Ker-Xavier Roussel. Private Garden, Dreamed Garden’ at the Musée des Impressionnismes

In summer 2019 until November 11th, the Musée des Impressionnismes in Giverny, France, is organizing “Ker-Xavier Roussel. Private Garden, Dreamed Garden”, an exhibition devoted entirely to the painter Xavier Roussel (1867-1944). It’s the first major retrospective returning on Ker-Xavier Roussel’s work since the one that was held in 1968 at the Musée de l’Orangerie at the Tuileries garden. It will feature previously unseen canvases – most of them conserved in private collections – together with some of his decorative paintings.

The show will include around one hundred works on all, dating from the Nabi experiments of the 1890s to the huge mythological narrative works that the artist revisited with unwavering force at the beginning of the 20th century. It will reveal Roussel’s power as a decorative painter and his place in the grand French tradition. It will also include a section devoted to the painter’s refined work in prints and drawings, tinged by the dark melancholy of end-of-century Symbolism. The exhibition will be divided into five sections revealing the successive phases of Roussel’s work and above all his original form of modernity, which went against the grain of 20th- century art. The various sections will be arranged both chronologically and thematically. The artist’s Nabi period (1890-1898) gave way to his first mythological subjects (1898-1901), which marked the beginning of a phase lasting forty years. The latter will be analyzed and divided into four sections, culminating in the rich, varied and tortured fifteen-year period at the end, which remains little known today. The exhibition in Giverny will bring knowledge about the artist up to date while shedding light on aspects of his work as yet unexplored.




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