Musée d'Orsay: Japanese affinities. Towards modern decoration.

Japanese affinities. Towards modern decoration.

Paul SérusierWomen at the Well© Musée d'Orsay, dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Patrice Schmidt
The exhibition, part of the programme of the first year of the opening of the Louvre Abu Dhabi, has been put together thanks to works from the collections of the Musée d’Orsay and loans from the Musée Guimet and the Louvre Abu Dhabi. It presents decorative paintings produced by the Nabis and Odilon Redon in the late 19th and early 20th century. These works are shown adjacent to Japanese prints and screens.

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.


Isabelle Cahn, chief curator of paintings, Musée d’Orsay

6 September - 24 November 2018

Louvre Abu-Dhabi

Dates subject to change

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