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Exhibition

90

Days until our 87th Annual Open Exhibition!

Become a member and submit your application to exhibit at our event.


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MARY CASSATT

MARY CASSATT

I have been absent (you may have noticed) from posting on FB and on the SAC website these past few weeks. I am now returned to my keyboard and focusing on this occasion on Mary Cassatt. Why Mary Cassatt I hear you ask? Read on.

Cassatt’s bio

Born into an affluent American family in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1844. Spent some of her childhood in France and Germany before returning to America to study at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.

Cassatt returned to Paris aged 21 and fell in with (rather than fell out with) the Impressionists. She exhibited at the Salon in 1868 aged around 23. But it was almost a decade later before she was invited to exhibit with the Impressionists - the only American female artist to do so making her unique.

Style, themes and influences

Cassatt’s Franco-American style was distinctive. She focused on depicting her perception of the mother-child relationship and on family. The technique she developed for modelling flesh became an individual characteristic of her work and is noticeable in works such as ‘Alexander Cassatt and his son Robert’(1884) and ‘Mother and Child(the oval mirror)’(1899).

Then something amazing happened. This ‘something’ was the exhibition of 763 woodblock prints at the École des Beaux Arts in1890. Her exposure to Japanese and Chinese prints had a profound effect on Cassatt. Her work became influenced by it and her response to it can clearly be seen in ‘Woman Bathing’(1890-91).

NB. This work looks so much better on my laptop screen than on newsprint. Newsprint reproduction muddies and mutes its colours; my laptop screen version was a revelation - fresh and vibrant.

Exhibition

‘Mary Cassatt: An American Impressionist in Paris’ is an exhibition recently opened at the Musée Jacquemart-André - 158 Boulevard Haussmann, Paris. It runs until 23rd July. Surely a sound excuse for a trip to Paris then. A small taste of what’s on offer can be found by clicking the following link : www.musee-jacquemart-andre.com/en/node/2112 ior by copying and posting it into your search engine/web browser.

Katherine Tyrrell has a substantial amount of information about the influence of japanese/chinese woodblock prints on French art at: makingamark.blogspot.co.uk/2008/04/visual-translation-of-japan-in.late.html just click the link, or copy and post it into your search engine/web browser.

Additionally there’s an informative article about Mary Cassat and the Musée Jacquemart-André exhibition in The Times(Saturday edition) - Review Section by Nancy Durrant entitled ‘The artist who put motherhood in the gallery’.


Anton.


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