Georges Seurat: figure in space

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Hatje Cantz, 2009 - Art - 151 pages
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Known as "the notary" by his contemporaries for his very proper disposition, Georges Seurat (1859-1891), was nonetheless a trailblazing artist, who devised mesmerizing effects in paint, creating what Museum of Modern Art, New York director Alfred Barr described as a "strange, almost breathless poise." Seurat's most famous painting, "La Grande Jatte" (1884), exemplifies the airy suspension of which "Pointillism" (as his style of painting-by-dabs was named) is uniquely capable, a sensation well suited to evoking in paint the sedate pace of Paris' new leisure class. For Seurat, Pointillism was also a way to attain for painting the mathematically explicable harmony of music: "Art is Harmony. Harmony is the analogy of the contrary and of similar elements of tone, of color and of line, considered according to their dominance and under the influence of light, in gay, calm or sad combinations," he declared in a letter to a friend. Seurat's style lent itself especially well to the portrayal of figures in space, and the endowing of those figures with volume and atmosphere. No other visual theme so well illustrates the tremendous innovations in Seurat's paintings and drawings as this handling of the figure, a theme which is at the heart of this new appraisal.

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Christoph Becker foreword
figures and landscape
the eiffel tower

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About the author (2009)

Georges Seurat (1859-1891), who developed the technique of Pointillism, revolutionized the art world. His placement of schematic figures in charming landscapes results in a subtle tension. This volume focuses on the figure in space in Seurat's paintings and drawings. No other visual theme better illustrates the tremendous innovations introduced by this pioneer of the avant-garde.

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