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First Rank Exhibition Soberly Named Pointillism Opens at Artvera's in Geneva
Henri-Edmond Cross, Les Baigneuses, 1899-1902.
GENEVA.- Artvera’s is a prestigious art gallery situated in the Old Town of Geneva and specialized in the European and Russian Art of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. After its recent exceptional retrospective dedicated to the Russian artist Serge Charchoune, it is now back on the foreground of the international cultural scene with a first rank exhibition soberly named Pointillism.

From strict Divisionism in the wake of Seurat to colourist Neo-impressionism theorized by Signac in his treatise From Eugène Delacroix to Neo-Impressionism (1899), Artvera’s Gallery offers a very complete exhibition which underlines all the aspects of the movement through great oil paintings by its most famous painters :

• Paul Signac - Theo Van Rysselberghe - Henri-Edmond Cross

• Maximilien Luce - Albert Dubois-Pillet - Willy Schlobach - Le Sidaner

One of the sources of Neo-Impressionism - Impressionism - is also represented through paintings by PISSARRO, SISLEY, LOISEAU, while the numerous consequences on later art - such as the opening in the direction of Fauvism or the creative use of Pointillism fused to other aesthetic approaches - are shown through very different works sometimes peculiar in the whole production of first range artists such as METZINGER, AMIET, VAN DONGEN, BONNARD, BARANOFF-ROSSINE, VLAMINCK, PICABIA and CHARCHOUNE.

A total of 37 oil paintings will be exhibited from 11th November 2010 till 31st March 2011.

Pointillism – Neo-impressionism – Divisionism
Artvera’s Gallery has chosen the word Pointillism for the title of its exhibition because it includes not only Divisionism and Neo-Impressionism, which are practically synonymous , but also - in a much larger vision - dot-based painting techniques used in other more or less decorative aesthetic approaches. Impressionism is incontestably the ancestor of Divisionism as for the stroke-based painting, lighter shades and a new emphasis on colour and light. However, Impressionists blended materially their pigments in the pasta on the palette to faithfully represent the colours of the reality they observed in the open air, whereas Divisionists ambitioned to mix pure colours optically on the retina, as they were inspired by the last scientific discoveries in Optics. In the first phase of the movement, we can speak about Divisionism in a strict sense in the wake of Seurat who strived for colour exaltation through the juxtaposition of contrasting complementary colours on the micro-level of dots. The brushstroke was thus divided into two dots of complementary colours, e.g. red and green or blue and orange. In a second phase - following the evolution of Signac in particular but also that of Cross and Rysselberghe after they had discovered the intense colours of the South of France – the colour exaltation through the juxtaposition of opposed complementary colours was achieved on the macro-level of painting’s areas rather than on the micro-level of individual dots. This colourist evolution breaking towards Fauvism is better referred to as Neo-Impressionism.

Headlight paintings of the exhibition: two master works by Van Rysselberghe and Cross
Theo Van Rysselberghe’s Scarlet Ribbon and Henri-Edmond Cross’s Bathers are clearly the two headlight paintings of the exhibition. Indeed, these two large format paintings with feminine nude are purely representative of a strict Divisionist technique – colour contrasts and oppositions between two juxtaposed individual dots aiming to result, seen from afar, in a third colour – while showing in the same time an intensity of the colours and a major attention to the contrast of the areas of the painting that express the more colourist evolution in the second phase of the Movement under the influence of Signac.

Art historian and Gallery’s catalogues writer Chantal Bartolini says that The Scarlet Ribbon is a master display of Divisionist Art at its highest level; she underlines “This work is not only Pointillist but also clearly Divisionist: the skin nuanced by the light is entirely rendered by the means of contrasting brushstrokes, pale blue and salmon or pink and turquoise green. The brushstroke is also remarkable in painting the hair. It results in an optical mixture able to restore the silky effect of this wavy red hair with such power that one wishes to plunge his hand in it”. Chantal Bartolini firmly states : ” It is rare, in front of a painting, to be facing so much perfection : beauty of the subject, perfection of drawing, colour and composition”.

Bathers by Cross, which was created in the late 19th century, about 10 years after Seurat’s death, appears to be equally strictly Divisionist. This second headlight painting of the exhibition, a large format also, was lengthily elaborated and required many preparatory studies. Chantal Bartolini underlines: ” The square format, unusual, allowed the painter to devote the lower third of the painting exclusively to the water and its reflections, so as to exhibit all his science of Divisionism. Nothing professorial, only the magic feeling of moving colourings, from the progressive gliding of the orange vibrations of the naked back’s reflection in the water until the bluish vibrations of the hollow of the bank in the half-light. At the median third, three learnedly positioned young girls form a pyramid and are seized in the midst of movement, as the gesture was stopped in the most perfect position in the eyes of the painter. Cross contrasted the colour both on the level of the brushstroke and on the level of the zones of the composition as a whole, to balance and structure it: the green of the pines answers that of the grassy banks to reinforce it, whereas the three pink-orange bodies, just like the tree trunks, contrast through their complementarity the intense turquoise-blue of the sea in the second ground.”

Other essential masterpieces
These two paintings - greatly worth for a prestigious museum - are exhibited next to no less noticeable other works : among these Cross’s La Ronde, in which are associated Fauvist colours and Pointillist technique while celebrating the Dionysiac theme of nymphs dancing in the nature, highly cherished by Symbolists. Or Paris under a crepuscular and shimmering sky in the coloured magic of Maximilien Luce, to compare with the no less fascinating Roofs of Paris at sunset by Gustave Cariot. Paris again through the eyes of Signac who painted Notre-Dame Cathedral using the orange colour of St-Tropez rocks over a Mediterranean-blue river Seine, in other words the same colours as for his Antibes . Highly interesting too are the Breton coast and Alpine lakes that were transfigured by the Belgian Luminist Schlobach, as well as an astounding view of St-Tropez - lushly flooded with light - by the young Picabia whose Divisionism is served by particularly daring colours ranging from lemon yellow to pink fuchsia.

Artvera’s Gallery publishes a new book on Pointillism
The new book published by Artvera’s Gallery – Pointillism - even more comprehensive than the folder currently at your disposal, can be received as a pdf electronic document on request. You will find in it further details on scientific and aesthetic theories that inspired Seurat in his research on optical mixing of colours and symbolism of lines, as well as on the colourist evolution of Signac in the second phase of the Movement which opened the way to Fauvism. It gives finally the analysis and the complete view of all the works exhibited at Artvera’s.

Artvera’s maintains its line and museum approach
Artvera’s Gallery devotes its activity exclusively to the great Masters of European and Russian Modern Art. It focuses mostly on avant-garde oil paintings of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, such as Impressionism, Neo-impressionism, Fauvism, and Expressionism. As Artvera’s Gallery’s director Sofia Komarova emphasizes, “Our exhibitions always aim at presenting paintings with the same approach as museums following a coherent concept that could enrich the visual culture of the spectator.” Indeed, through the pertinent and parallel comparison of the works, Artvera’s incites the visitor to develop an active glance at the paintings to discover and appreciate with all the more pleasure the subtle art of great Masters.

Artvera’s boasts an international clientele of collectors, in relation with the exceptional level of the exhibited works. It is one of the rare and prestigious European Galleries capable of meeting highly specialized requests from the most demanding collectors at any time, as it relies on a very rich choice of paintings. Artvera’s is also a precious and essential intermediate agent for museums in search of paintings for their temporary exhibitions.

Artvera | Geneva | Pisarro | Sisley | Loiseau |




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