The exhibition is divided into four sections based on the aesthetic principles that constitute the points of impact of the dialogue between East and West at the end of the 19th century. The Nabis and Odilon Redon took an interest in Japanese art as of 1890, drawing from its teachings and adopting an elliptic and suggestive expression, a mobile vision of the world, and a tension between empty and full. Placing their paintings alongside Japanese prints and screens demonstrates how this symbiosis caused painting to shift towards modernity through the abolition of illusionism, the primacy of the decorative, the fragmentation of space, and the fascination for the imaginary.
The Nabis have been qualified as ‘storyteller’ painters dye to the intellectual, dreamlike and spiritual nature of their works. Their decorative paintings break away from the representation of reality to depict a poetic and imaginary world. Very similar to the Nabis style, Odilon Redon emerged as the artist who best reconciled Western and Easter genius in a harmonious hybrid form.