Bonnard Art In Paris

This spring, Paris is offering a wonderful opportunity to refresh old memory files. Twenty-two years after the last major Bonnard retrospective, the Paris Museum of Modern Art - until May 7 - opens a sumptuous Bonnard exhibition, with 90 of his paintings, drawings and photographs, agendas, and sketchbooks, spanning more than 50 years. Deeply influenced by Gauguin, as a young painter Bonnard took time to decide which path to take. The way he chose was to follow his own set of rules. In his own lifetime, critics and art buyers didn't know how to define his art, especially when cubism started ruling the Paris artistic scene.I n the paintings exhibited in Paris, lent by major world museums and collectors, you discover with a gourmet's delight what appear at first glance to be homey scenes of everyday French life. The terrace of his house. The lush garden as seen from the window. A table set for lunch. A cafe on the Place de Clichy. His wife seated behind a kitchen table. And lots of female nudes bathing (his wife Marthe most of the time). Now, look again. Perspectives and proportions are forgotten. Daylight streaming from the window blends seamlessly with indoor lighting. Colors, colors, colors rule everywhere. As the exhibition notice sums it up nicely, "[Bonnard's] perception distills memory and dream so as to 'bring paint to life' rather than simply "paint life." Cezanne liked Bonnard's work. You can feel their kinship in Bonnard's landscapes of the south of France, where they both lived and painted for long periods. For the full story - click the title Irish Art