Cézanne: Influencial and Innovative

For ten years the Montclair Art Museum (MAM) has been working to create a “master” exhibit. It has succeeded by working closely with the Baltimore Museum to create the exclusive Cézanne exhibit. This exhibit is the most important collection that has ever been showcased at the museum in its 95 years of existence. The Cézanne exhibit is extremely unique  in that it not only displays the works of Cézanne, but also the works of artists that were influenced by him.

Cézanne, who’s that? Cézanne was a French artist who revolutionized art during the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries. During this period, artists were judged on how well they could replicate the subject of their art. Cézanne had a different belief, a new approach. He decided to depict the subject the way that it made him feel, his perception. At first there was shock among the artistic community, an apple does not look like that. Slowly people started to understand and slowly his new technique gained traction. He began to influence other artists of the time and he continues to do so to this day.

The chief curator of this exhibit, Gail Stavitski,  chose to organize it by painting versus by artist. So the original painting by Cézanne was featured next to the painting that was the product of his influence. This makes it much easier to see the resemblance and influence that Cézanne exhibited over these artists.

The showcase also features an audio tour. Most of the paintings feature a phone number on a plaque next to it. when you call this number a brief description of the painting you are looking at will play. There are also written descriptions of every painting in the exhibit. The chief curator along with a research assistant does research on each painting and then creates a plaque for the exhibit and also a catalog.

In chronological relation to other artists you may have heard of, Cézanne comes before Matisse and Picasso and after Monet. Cézanne’s work was considered abstract and against “protocol”. He revolutionized art and is a very influential figure in the art community.

The exhibit is very detailed and inventive and I encourage you to visit it in the short time left that it is here. It is a good way to spend a day during winter break. The exhibit in on view at the Montclair Art Museum until January 3, 2010. Museum and exhibit information can be found a the museum’s website, http://www.montclairartmuseum.org/, or you can call 973-746-5555.

Lora Urbanelli, Head of the Montclair Art Museum

Lora Urbanelli, Head of the Montclair Art Museum

2 comments for “Cézanne: Influencial and Innovative

  1. Brynnae
    January 13, 2010 at 8:15 pm

    I learned about a man named Cézanne. I read that the Montclair Art Museum has made a “Master” exhibit on this mans work. It said that this exhibit is the most important collection that has ever been showcased at the museum in its 95 years of existence! (wow that must be a pretty big thing!).
    This article says that Cézanne is a french artist.

  2. Joelle
    January 13, 2010 at 9:46 pm

    I am so happy this artical was published, my mom and I were planing to go to the Cézanne excibet, but now I know all about him thanks to this artical.I was planning to be an artist when I grow up, and to do that I was going to have to study a lot of artist, but now since I know all about Cézanne that is one artist to check of my list. I also learned that Cézanne came before Matisse and Picasso other artist I will study. Cézanne is one of my favorite artist, and to know that he influenced others just makes me appreciate his art more and more.I was very bummed out when I found out my mom and I could not make it to the exhibit.But you can’t do every thing can you? I did not know that Cézanne was french that was some thing I learned.
    I only have one helpful comment I think adding that Cézanne was born on January 19 1839 would be a good comment.Other than that this was a great artical.My favorite part of this artical was when you described Cézanne. I will try to do great art work like Cézanne. There are many artist I will be influenced by, and Cézanne is one of them. I will never forget how mutch this artical told me about Cézanne.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *