‘I paint as I see, as I feel… They also feel and see like me, but they don’t dare… I dare’ Paul Cezanne, 1870
Paul Cezanne (1839-1906) is one of the most highly regarded and enigmatic artists of the late 19th century. By approaching painting as a process and investigation, where uncertainty plays an integral role, he gave this medium a new lease of life. Cezanne linked the formal process of art-making he called ‘realisation’ to his personal experiences, or ‘sensations His work has always strongly resonated with other artists, and this legacy continues into the present day.
The exhibition opens with one of Cezanne’s early self-portraits. In his 30s, he depicted himself as a mature, self-assured and sophisticated modern man. He then spent the following 30 years wrestling with what it meant to be a modern painter. At the same time, he remained deeply sceptical about the world he lived in, from political unrest in France to a continually accelerating way of life. This study of the self is displayed alongside a still life of apples, Cezanne’s most celebrated subject, through which he investigates our relationship with the object world.
The first half of the exhibition looks at Cezanne in the context of his time, exploring his life, relationships and the creative circle that surrounded him. The second half presents groups of works that focus on particular themes, including his radical still lifes and studies of bathers. Some labels include the names of artists who owned the paintings. You can also look out for captions written by artists working today, responding to Cezanne’s influence.
Photographer: Paul Winstone/fabuk