Announcing APS’s Second Distinguished Scholar Lecture by Harriet Stratis, “There’s More to the Story: Integrating Paul Gauguin’s Artistic Practice into an Exhibition Narrative”
APS is pleased to announce its second Distinguished Scholar Lecture. This year, Harriet Stratis, Senior Research Conservator at the Art Institute of Chicago, will deliver a talk about her current research into Paul Gauguin’s artistic process. The abstract of her talk can be found below. The talk will be video recorded and posted online for viewing by APS members and the general public.
May 12, 2017
Martin E. Segal Theatre, CUNY Graduate Center
365 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY
5pm, Reception to follow
Seating is limited, and we encourage you to RSVP to reserve your spot. Please use this link.
Over the past four decades, blockbuster exhibitions have taken center stage at major museums both here and abroad. Many have focused on the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists, so much so that Monet, Degas, Van Gogh and Gauguin have become household names. Images of their work adorn mugs, tee shirts, umbrellas, and posters. Volumes have been written about them. So, after decades of scholarly study and public adoration, one may ask what more is there to say?
In fact, there is more to say. When artists’ biographies are considered in parallel with their choices and manipulations of a multitude of art materials, a new dimension can be added to our understanding of the artworks they produced and the aesthetic motivations that underlie this production. Interspersing methods and materials content into an exhibition platform, however, presents visual and contextual challenges.
Paul Gauguin, known among friends and foes alike, as a tinkerer, a bricoleur, or a jack-of-all-trades, integrated the making of prints, woodcarvings and ceramics side-by-side with painting, into his practice. He experimented constantly, and re-used imagery interchangeably between art forms. He sought to eliminate distinctions between the fine arts of painting and sculpture with what was considered craft or the “minor arts.” And his unconventional manipulations of materials relied as much upon chance as they did upon a firm understanding of their inherent properties such as their transparency or opacity, their elasticity or the lack thereof, the intensity of their colors, or their fragility.
The exhibition, “Paul Gauguin: Artist as Alchemist,” opening at the Art Institute on June 25th, will showcase new technical discoveries side-by-side with the presentation of works in disparate media that are all thematically linked. As the museum visitor walks through each gallery, the artist’s biography will unfold alongside a chronology of materials usage and the artist’s ever changing artistic practice. This rare opportunity represents the culmination of years of research that began in Chicago the late 1980s and celebrates publication of the Art Institute’s online scholarly catalog dedicated to Gauguin’s paintings, ceramics, and graphic works in the museum’s collection.
Harriet Stratis is a Senior Research Conservator at the Art Institute of Chicago. She holds an MA in art history and certificate in conservation from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. For the past 4 years, Harriet has been immersed in an in-depth technical investigation of the museum’s holdings of Paul Gauguin’s graphic works for inclusion in an online scholarly catalog of works by the artist in the Art Institute’s collection. Her findings will be presented in the exhibition “Paul Gauguin: Artist as Alchemist” that will open on June 25th at the Art Institute and then travel on to the Musée d’Orsay in Paris this fall.