Guest Curated by Veronique Serrano
The Hilliard University Art Museum is pleased to announce Pierre Bonnard: Landscapes from Le Cannet. this solo exhibition marks the artist's first in Louisiana and is guest curated by Véronique Serrano, director of the Musée Bonnard in France.
Pierre Bonnard: Landscapes from Le Cannet features 24 selected works on loan from the collection of the Musée Bonnard in France. It includes 17 drawings, 6 paintings and a lithograph that were created late in the artist’s career. Primarily focusing on Bonnard’s landscapes, this exhibition celebrates his vision of Le Cannet—which is notable not only as Bonnard’s home, but is uniquely distinguished as Lafayette’s sister city in France. The Hilliard Museum is the exclusive venue for this exhibition.
Pierre Bonnard (1867-1947) was unquestionably a master of 20th century painting and a key actor in Les Nabis movement. He was born in the Fontenay-aux-Roses suburb of Paris and enrolled in the Académie Julian in 1887 to study painting. In the fall of 1888 he and two like-minded colleagues, Maurice Denis and Paul Serusier, formed Les Nabis, an avant-garde painting group. Basing their name on the Hebrew word for “prophets”, this group was inspired by the Symbolist approach of painter Paul Gauguin—in which color served a spiritual, rather than descriptive, function.
After meeting Toulouse-Lautrec in 1891, Bonnard exhibited at the Salon des Indépendents where his work was received with great success for the first time. In that year he also shared a studio space with painter Édouard Vuillard. In 1896 Bonnard’s first solo exhibition was presented at the Galerie Durand-Ruel. By 1912 he purchased property in the Normandy region of France where he lived with his life-long partner and muse, Marthe, and made frequent visits to Claude Monet in Giverny.
After making annual visits to Le Cannet for many years, Bonnard acquired a villa which he called Le Bosquet, or “the grove” in 1926. This location became his primary home and studio during the last decade of his life. The house is one source of inspiration for the works in this exhibition. Le Cannet is where his explorations of light and color intensify. After capturing his first impressions of the landscape as energetic sketches on paper, Bonnard then translated those marks to color in his paintings back at the studio—achieving a oneness with nature, light, color and paint.
The Hilliard University Art Museum is grateful to Mayor Michéle Tabarot and the Musée Bonnard, Le Cannet, France for allowing us to present this exhibition of works from their permanent collection.
Images courtesy of Musée Bonnard, Le Cannet Côte d'Azur.
710 E St Mary Blvd, Lafayette, LA 70503