CLEVELAND — Before his Tahiti paintings established him, Paul Gauguin was snubbed by the 1889 Paris world's fair. Undaunted, he and colleagues staged a rival show in a cafe, a formative time featured in an international exhibtion at the Cleveland Museum of Art.
The "exhibition about an exhibition" runs from Oct. 4 through Jan. 18 and then goes to the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. It includes works on view by Louis Anquetin, Emile Bernard, Charles Laval and Emile Schuffenecker.
"Paul Gauguin: Paris, 1889" includes more than 75 paintings, sculptures and works on paper by Gauguin and his contemporaries and the first reinstallation of works from the Volpini Cafe des Arts exhibition in Paris near the new Eiffel Tower.
Many of the works haven't hung side-by-side since 1889, when Gauguin displayed his emerging postimpressionist style and began focusing on colors and themes that blossomed in his Tahiti works.
"I think when people hear the name Gauguin, they usually think Tahiti, South Seas, Polynesia, palm trees, beaches," said Heather Lemonedes, the Cleveland museum's associate curator or drawings. "But I've felt in studying Gauguin, a lot of what he was all about was kind of coming to fruition in 1889."