‘…Furthermore, the extravagant brushwork is a delight to behold. I am curious to know whether such work will in time replace the art of the Millets and the Corots.’
Review of the Volpini exhibition in the Café des Arts by Osado [pseudonym] in De Opmerker, 7 September 1889
Excluded, like most of the avant-garde, from the galleries of the 1889 Paris Exposition Universelle, Paul Gauguin and his artistic disciples exhibited their work at a café on the fair grounds. At the suggestion of his dealer, Theo van Gogh, Gauguin produced an extraordinary portfolio of eleven zincographs on radiant yellow paper; they documented the formation of the central motifs in his work and proclaimed his leadership of a radical new style, disdaining illustrative representation in order to grapple directly with subjective experience.
Five scholars explore the background of the official fair and largely recreate the incursion of Gauguin and his circle at Monsieur Volpinis Café des Arts. Gauguins suite of zincographs is explored in depth, compared with related paintings, ceramics, and wood carvings. The authors examine the state of lithography in late nineteenth-century Paris, plumb the depths of the y iconography of Gauguin and his associates, and submit the prints to rigorous technical analysis.
This accompanies the exhibition of the same name at the Cleveland Museum of Art from 4 October 2009 until 18 January 2010 and at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam from 19 February 2010 until 6 June 2010.