Tate Modern Gauguin exhibition poster

Tate Modern’s Gauguin exhibition poster

Ok. It has been a month since our Gauguin exhibition opened and we have already had a fantastic amount of comments from visitors. Many thanks to everyone. As a curator, these insights into people’s experience, thoughts and opinions are fascinating and will certainly inform any projects I work on in the future. Please do post messages on the Tate blog - I read them all! I look forward to hearing from you. Christine 

Comments

Sara

I thoroughly enjoyed the exhibition and was glad to be able to see first hand Gauguin's work in Brittany for the first time. I found the paintings of his children particularly moving. That said, I love the work that he created in Tahiti and they remain my favourite pieces. Thank you to the Tate for giving me the opportunity to see so much of his work in one exhibition!

Claudine

a very good exhibition indeed, enjoyed it because of the theme of the myths, even though Gauguin is not one of my all time favourite painters, i understood him well. I also loved the documents about his times. One of the best presented exhibitions i have been at.

mike

wonderful

Stella Pierides

Thank you for this exhibition. The theme of this show helped direct my attention to an interesting set of issues.

Indeed, myth-making is very important in the marketing and publicising of works of art, often becoming intertwined with the art object itself. Unfortunately, it may also tip into the making of stereotypes that artists get lumbered with throughout their lives and well beyond (whether or not they themselves actively participated in the myth-making)! So exploring the myths behind Gauguin was a well-thought out enterprise - leaving enough space for the visitor to question, reflect, imagine and form an opinion about this matter.

I am working on a novel centred on the lives of Gabriele Münter and other painters of the Blue Rider movement. Visiting the show, I came to realise that I have been following a thread about Münter's life and character, which may well-be a myth of her own and the art world's making. I am aware of a number of books about her that appear to reinforce this portrayal! I cannot say more about this, as it is work in progress, but the insight arose out of the excellent collection of paintings and well-curated show.

On the downside, the exhibition rooms were crowded and hot when I visited, which made me feel pressured to move on too quickly - however, I was anyway planning on visiting the show a few more times over the next few months, and so I will be able to make-up for what I missed.

jain castiau

Excellent exhibition with many paintings I hadn't seen before. Audio guide gave a good insight in to Gauguin's phsyche and his marketing skills. I hadn't considered before that the Tahiti he painted was not the Tahiti he lived in!

Going at 4.30 was great as I walked back through the exhibition at closing time (6pm) and had the galleries almost to myself.

Shame the iphone app is too big to download on to my iphone not sure it makes sense to download it to my pc.

Douglas Burke

Disappointed - exhibition poorly planned narratives too small and always in the wrong place for viewing. Work thoroughly lifeless and dull where was the light? When I read other comments about composition I wonder if I saw the same pictures. Dismal. Marion Burke

anne

I really enjoyed it but found the light levels difficult on the eyes. I liked the way pictures were hung... ie not chronologically. Found the staff very helpful.

eric carte

I thought the exhibition wonderful, still reeling from the colour, one cavil, why have the identifiers in pairs ? confusing. Will return often. A triumph for the Tate Modern, up with Kandinsky for me. thanks eric and bella

Peter Lizak

My Mom and me are a big Gauguin fan. :) It was unforgettable wonder seeing that paintings. We travelled from Hungary to London just for this occasion. We are not rich, but it was worth it. Even if my favourite painting "Nave nave moe" wasn't there.:) Many thanks to everyone who contributed to this beautiful exhibition.

elske willenborg

Wow! what beauty! Inspite of the crowd and thankful, for once, for my 5'10'' frame, I found the Gauguin an absolute feast for the eyes. It was wonderful to have the opportunity to see so many of his paintings hung together, not just on the printed pages of a book; the real thing far superior than I could have ever imagined. The overriding message for me was one of colour, colour and more colour. My children enjoyed it too,well, for about 45mins anyway! The girls (11 and 7) were drawn to the fairytale like qualities of his later work and my son, age 13 and history obsessed, was fascinated by the facts and photographs of the timeline and Gauguin more 'rogish' qualities.

After the exhibition we strolled across the millenium bridge and popped into St Paul's cathedral for a further moment of contemplation. It's days like these that remind me what a priviledge it is to live in London.

Thank you!

Anna Feruglio D...

Thank you for inviting me to comment. I enjoyed the exhibition, but there were problems with it, and in the end my considered response was that he was a dick. A talented dick for sure, but a dick nonetheless.

I agree with most of the things that have been said: a mediocre draughtsman and painter, a coffee-table artist, his paintings of his children are distinctly creepy, but what really angered me was the self-serving cultural appropriation he displayed, creating a fake, crowd-pleasing Tahitian mythology because the reality did not comfort his romantic expectations. The depiction of Tahitian women captures their beauty but only incidentally their reality - they are obviously receptacles for the author's ego, and no effort at understanding and connection has been made. They are exploitative, self-centered expression of a superficial mind shackled to the colonialism and sexism of the time.

While Conrad was anguished by the impossibility to really know the Other, partly because it had been slaughtered and annihilated before his eyes, partly because he was all too aware of the Western eyes he was using to look at the world, Gauguin was serenely unconcerned with any such problems, and proceeded with cheerful appropriation and distortion of a culture he wasn't really interested in understanding or respecting.

Apart from that, the exhibition was indeed very crowded, all the more annoying because I had bought a timed ticked and therefore expected better crowd management, and the rooms with the biographical information were distinctly undewhelming: the lighting was dire, the captions small, and if you add that you had to queue to get a place at the glass cases, it meant that I came away with far less knowledge than I would have wanted.

I was also not impressed by the range of books on sale after the exhibition, which tended to the coffee-book almost uniformly. I couldn't find any useful exploration of issues of colonialism and the creation of a primitivist myth, that I at that point would have really liked to have taken a look at.

Anna Feruglio D...

BTW - despite the crowding, the lighting, the small font, and my growing disenchantemnt with Gauguin, the exhibition was certainly worth it. The fact that I came away with such strong feelings means that it taught me and stimulated me much more than many other similar experiences.

Andy Powell

I only really know Gauguin for his Tahitian works, so I was interested to see his development prior to this. It's a real shame that you chose instead to treat your audience as children, with a thematic approach. Doing this created a disjointed exhibition which might as well have been indexed alphabetically or by colour.

And every single big exhibition is always let down by inexplicably putting the room's introductory text just inside the entrance, making it near impossible to move through the exhibition smoothly.

A shame, as this could have been a fantastic show, watching an artist wrestle with his own style, searching for artistic happiness.

Tom S

TOO FULL. Great exhibition, but I could not enjoy the great work or the insightful curation as it was stuffed to the gills. Drove me mad... please, please stop doing this Tate.

Michael Gilbert

Thanks for a great exhibition. I enjoyed the thematic layout which, similar to Monet in Paris, also tends to be chronological as the artists generally change theme over the years. While I would love to wander by myself around the exhibition. I do think the crowds give a buzz of excitement. The shared enthusiasm similar to that experienced at a concert or sporting event. Knowing you are one of many in your taste for art.

Alison Leonard

I too found myself overwhelmed by thoughts of the man's irresonpsible behaviour. A historian friend had said to me before I went, 'Think how many Tahitian women Gauguin must have infected with syphilis', and this coloured my whole visit. The title of the exhibition is 'Gauguin, Maker of Myth', and for me the principle myth that emerges is the image created by Gauguin of himself as artist. The fact that Christian missionaries had reached the Polynesian islands before him and 'tamed' its sunny, nature-loving population, yet he re-invented them in some innocent savagery of his own to suit his preconceptions... Not only having sex with women and girls - one only 13 (and I did think the use of the word 'partner' was anachoronistic in that context) but travelling constantly back to Paris to establish his artistic image and make sure his work would sell. The exhhibition guide seemed to encourage us to see Gauguin as an expert with 'spin' - his 'patchy' knowledge of the Tahitian language lending romance to the paintings' titles: 'Their ability to conjure a remote, exotic world for western ears seems to have been as important to him as their specific meaning'... how he 'honed his reputation as a rebel, an artistic innovator and libertine... with one eye on his contemporary audience, the other on posterity.' So are we being duped? Has Gauguin set us up? Did he tap into some secret desire of us conventional folks, tediously devoted to work and family and community, to float off to a south sea island for art and love, so as to persuade us that he was a genius? Are we, simply, his fools?

david antrobus

thanks for your mail christine, I loved seeing his paintings, I am married and have three kids so getting out to see a show like this was a rare treat. In a world of seeing hundreds of images everyday it was great to see paintings and feel their life and colour. Here was a banker, after a financial collapse escape that ever shrinking world to try and find himself I think. He seems to have opened himself up to a lot of ideas and feelings that were new and have turned out to be quite relevent over 100 years later. Most certainly, the right show at the right time. Well done Tate.

Peter Worth

This was a very interesting exhibition, with lots of aspects of his work that I had not appreciated.I was not aware what he looked like and it was nice to have the range of his self portraits right at the start. I do have a problem when an exhibition is so popular and that is that it is very difficult to read all the information that is distributed around the exhibition, especially the information that is besides each exhibit. My eyesight is not too bad, but it is impossible to read this information without getting very close. The writing here was very small. I do like to see where the exhibits have come from as well as their titles. I did not have an audio guide and I am sure that this information would not be available. I will certainly try and get back for a second visit, beause there is too much to see on one visit.

Roddy Slorach

The Tate picked a good title for the exhibition. I have always had mixed feelings about Gauguin, finding his use of colour and perspective stimulating and original. For me, however, the exhibition reveals him to be a largely unremarkable artist. Although he seems to have crafted an image as an anti-establishment rebel, what seeps through his art, particularly in the later work, is something quite different.

Even the earlier paintings, reminiscent of Van Gogh, reminded me how much more original the latter's work was in comparison. As I progressed through the work, Gauguin's increasingly crude sexism and colonialism seemed more and more its dominant feature, and I found myself wondering how he came to be so admired. But maybe that's why I should be grateful to the curators.

I recently went to Liverpool specifically to see the fantastic Picasso 'War and Peace' exhibition - now that really would be worth bringing to London!

denis lejeune

I personally would have favoured a chronological order to the exhibition. I know thematic order is 'in' and looks a lot more brainy, but an artist's work moves along time, not themes. Gauguin pre-Pont Aven, then Pont Aven, then Martinique, then Tahiti and then Marquesas - I would have found more enriching. Whether it is because I know his work quite well I don't know but I seemed to know close to all the exhibited works, a bit of a shame. In contrast I really enjoyed the photographs of Tahiti, in particular the kids fishing by the water's edge. Anyway nice initiative.

Ruth

Unfortunately I was disappointed by the exhibition. The thematic arrangement was really good, but I found it difficult to engage with the work - I left feeling that I didn't much care about Gaugin as an artist and nor was there anything that I particularly "liked". Maybe this is down to taste and maybe I should have put more effort into the visit. But I know very little about Gaugin's life and art and just expected to come out more excited about him. Also not an exhibition I would expect to see at Tate Modern - more suited to National Gallery!

Colin Williams

Firstly I must say that my comments are purely subjective and from my own experience of this exhibition. As you will see I loved it!! I can only say one thing about this fantastic exhibition - WOW. It was informative and invigorating. Such an insight into one of the great artists of the late 19th century shows that there is always something new to be discovered. I never knew that Gauguin was the inventor of the south sea paradise myth by creating images and story lines to fulfil his dreams of a native idyl that had been swept away before he arrived in the islands. His use of colour and composition was simply stunning and his imagery fed into my own and I am sure other peoples mental images of Tahiti. Not only this stage of his artistic career but the early days when he was perfecting his art were perfectly displayed and the whole exhibition unfolded in a detailed and analytical way by allowing us to stroll from one room to another in a thematical timeline. Well done Tate Modern for a fantastic and enthralling exhibition. Unfortunately you have raised the bar so high that it will be hard to beat this one. Thank you, thank you. Colin

peter and pat R...

we visited the gauguin show last week from Norfolk, UK during half term. We were NOT botherd by children, we expected it to be crowded but with patience every picture, and sculpture was viewed . We appreciated the audios we hired - they informed us of the, history and life of the Artist and the link to his art. We had a lovely slow lunch afterwards in the restuant where the staff were kind and helpful to 2 elderly , infirm art lovers. It was a wonderful day out for us. I an saddened by the critical remarks in some of the posts

Alan Mitchell

Overall, I enjoyed the exhibition and thought it was well conceived and presented. I visited on a Saturday so it was too busy, but I suppose this is understandable. Although I had seen a few of his paintings before I knew very little about Gauguin except a few deatils of his non-humble early life, relationship with Van Gogh and that he had at times lived in Tahiti. So I leant a lot more about the man and his life. I suppose I was a little disappointed by a lot of his paintings. I am an uncritical fan of Van Gogh so I suppose I was making comparisons from this viewpoint. The colours were not as vibrant or as bright as I thought they would be and wondered whether the relatively low light levels and grey walls had some affect on this impression.

Colin

Like many others I found the exhibition very overcrowded. I have been a member for many years and have not found any other exhibition to be as crowded as this.

I love the richness of colour and the intimate nature of Gauguin's work. When other visitors allowed I was briefly able to immerse myself in the art.

I will be visiting again in the hope that the numbers in the gallery will be greatly reduced.

I love the Tate but I had a far better viewing experience at the Courtauld to see the Gauguin's that normally hang there.

Although income is imperative for The Tate to grow it has to be careful not to devalue their brand and current high standing in the art world.

Tony Grogan

Loved it, even it is was a little too busy a crowed at the moment (I will return later in the month when the rush dies off). Perhaps the real gem though was the iPhone App which has been released with the exhibition. I hope the Tate continue that process with future exhibitions ... very clever.

Cecile and Sylvain

We were really impressed by the rich content of the Gauguin exhibition. It is actually really easy and mind-opening to follow from one theme to another which still allows you to follow a chronological thread, the artist's approach of recurrent themes or genres through the years. It is such a treat to see so many pieces gathered at the Tate from all over the world. We will have to visit again as it was a bit too crowded - but as members, that is not an issue. Thank you!

Danny Marshall

Visited on Sunday afternoon and thoroughly enjoyed it. I was initially disappointed to learn that the works wouldn't be shown chronologically as I thought it might have been interesting to follow the development of style, technique and the various influences in Gauguin's life and work but actually the splitting in to themes allows you to do this anyway and works really well. My favourite part was discovering how much I liked and connected with his work in Brittany. This isn't something I fully appreciated before when considering Gauguin's work.

I've seen quite a few comments about how busy the show was. I would imagine that a Sunday afternoon is quite a peak time and although I must admit the gallery was packed I did not find this off-putting. Ideally it would be nice to see the work in a slightly quieter environment but to be honest it is wonderful to see so many people enjoying art and supporting the Tate when the staff go to the effort of putting together something so worthwhile and ultimately accessible. I appreciate the comment that the Tate must be careful not to devalue its brand. However ultimately this is a nice problem to have and the popularity of Gauguin is well deserved. Will definitely be back for a second viewing!

Judy Wade

I had looked forward to the Gauguin exhibition so much and was quite disappointed when I finally got inside. Took the advice on the website to head straight for the last rooms to avoid crowds at the start but found every room packed. I got so annoyed with trying in vain to see the paintings clearly that I left. I imagined that by booking a certain time the number of people allowed in would be limited. Instead, it was like a cattle market - no way to appreciate genius. Yes, I do like Gauguin but he is not even close to Van Gough or Matisse when it comes to using colour. So I was a bit disappointed over all. But I shall go back at a time when I hope the crowds have dwindled. Tate is not so great anymore, I reckon. Sad viewer.

Dawn Clarke

I saw the show last week and was impressed with the display of work. Had expectations after seeing Gauguin in USA and these were challenged, but in a fruitful way. I saw early work for the first time which was a vital link to his development. But maybe for me the most important items were his use of the yellow paint and the intensity of his small mixed medium work. I looked at his modelling of the figures with the yellow medium and was excited by his ability to create form with this colour. Just like Piccaso did with the blues. Then his small works seemed to show such intensity of energy I would have been quite happy to be an owner. I found myself spending time with these small images. The more time I spent with the paintings, a fuller appreiciation developed. There was also the obvious connection with Puvis de Chavennes in the narrative design of his images. I look forward to more visits which I am sure will reveal even more. Definately one not to be missed, and to be seen with an open mind.

Simon Leach

Came specially to London to see this exhibition. It was far too crowded and ventilation was poor. it was impossible to actually see the paintings without being jostled and pushed. Given the cost of the tickets, this was very disappointing and completely spoilt the day. You really need to manage the numbers better. Went to the recent Picasso at Tate Liverpool and this was much better organised.

Guy

I loved the exhibition- I too appreciated the thoughtful layout of objects nearby paintings containing them, as well as the objects themselves: call me a philistine, but I had no idea Gauguin had been such a talented carpenter. I went on a Friday evening, expecting it to be extremely busy but it was by no means heaving and I didn't have to wait too long at any point to steal a look at something that caught my attention.

However -at the risk of straying from the topic- I also went in great anticipation of the new Turbine Hall exhibition. Just before I left work for Tate, I saw an article saying it was now an off-limits exhibition, due to health concerns about dust.

I have to say, I was extremely disappointed when I did finally lay eyes upon the latest, sterilized addition to a series that has as it's hallmark interaction and social immersion. It wasn't the fact that you had to view the artwork from behind a tape-barrier, it was that earlier during the week you could trample all over it: knowing that this was not how the art was originally conceived to be detracted from the experience significantly. And from an artist who typically takes a pugnacious attitude to authoritative dictums. I would have gladly worn a respiratory mask if it meant I could enjoy the art as it should be enjoyed.

Ben

Managed to jump the line by flashing my Tate membership card, like a celeb at a nightclub. Unfortunately, the gallery rooms were probably even more packed than said dancing nite spot, so I bailed. The paps never saw me exit, which is a good thing. I will return when me and my entourage can enjoy ourselves without all the plebs getting in the way.

Robert Maniquis

No doubt about it -- a wonderful exhibition. And no doubt about it -- too many visitors are let in at the same time. The crowds are too big and impinge upon the pleasure of the visit. Control the numbers of people entering every half hour.

Clive Stewart

I predicted the crowds because of the hype and advertising. I think Gauguin did some fine self-portraits, still-lifes and landscapes but his later work with Tahitian women leave me cold. A great painter who lost his way?

Roger Holloway

I have lived with the Gauguin story, his paintings and his life, for seventy odd years. Walking into the exhibition was an overwhelming experience. one after the other images etched into my memory were re-visited until I was overwhelmed - couldn't absorb any more! I walked straight through the last few rooms without seeing anything, bought a hard covered catalogue and left for home in my Welsh fastness, with the intention of returning to view selected areas of the exhibition at my own pace.

Olivia

I was expecting a typical blockbuster and to not be that overwhelmed by the Gauguin... visiting on a Friday evening I also expected to tackle the crowds... but I was totally and pleasantly surprised. There was a manageable number of visitors who all seemed engrossed in the exhibition. The work was exquisite - I enjoyed the beautiful combination of colours and the imaginative and quirky compositions. My favourite was the '3 puppies' for it's bizarre composition and subject matter. I wasn't totally convinced by the themed rooms and would have liked to see how Gaugin's subject matter and style progressed through his career a bit more. This is a must see show and I will probably be back for more. It has already inspired me to do a painting myself. (but what were the tassled cushions in the shop all about??!)

Jennie Ball

Visited on Friday Nov 5th with a friend. thank Goodness I am a member as the exhibition was so overcrowded I could not engage with the paintings. Gaugin is not a favourite but I like the Breton paintings and the landscapes However it was impossible to get to know him better - badly curated and managed and I couldnt wait to get away from the Heat inside the eshibition - it completely distracted from the exhibition. Also some of the comments made me laugh - like "Gaugins Tahitian partner" - I ask you - she was his tahitian mistress. Visions of Gaugin introducing his partner!!! The members cafe on the 6th was not much better. The food is dreadful - no seats - no management of the seating. One girl sitting with a baby in pushchair while she read a book for an hour taking up three seats and she didnt even have a coffee. There must be a better way to manage. Also your loos are still dirty. Tate Britain is much better managed. If I had come a long way to see this exhibition and had had to pay I would be very disappointed. Come on Tate Modern - get your act together and try and make this a show stopper for London - you are rounding down to the lowest common denominator. Your staff need more training and there should be a better management of the timed exhibitions. I think you need more late night private viewings for members - I have been unable to get to any of them . Normally as I live in London I would go a few times - but yesterdays experience was so off putting I wont bother. I am considering whether I will renew my membership next time - it doesnt seem worth it.

One bright positive comment - your gift shop for childrens books is excellent and also for childrens toys. A Good choice which one doesnt see elsewhere.

While I am having the grumpy old woman moment - please get Tate Britain to come up with a bigger and better Members Room - it is also a disgrace. Look at Dulwich, look at New York - look at some of the amazing provincial galleries who are really looking after their members and also have super cafes with great food. Overseas Visitors must think we are really down market.

Having read some of the other comments on the blog I am definitely not alone. Wny dont you send out a questionnaire to all your members and see what they think about all the facilities.

Maggie Henderson

About the audioguide script - did the writer get the wrong impression about Gauguin's :

In the audioguide's introduction to the exhibition, the narrator says that Gauguin 'self-consciously' created a persona for himself and a myth about his adventures. Shouldn't the word have been 'consciously' - so 'with awareness of what he was doing' rather than 'in an embarrassed way'? I didn't get the impression from the exhibition text and your interviews that you thought the artist was in anyway uncomfortable with his creation.

The idea that Gauguin was responsible for his own myth makes a nice peg on which to hang the interpretation - but in several places the audioguide comes over as rather judgmental of Gauguin's tactics. We're asked to accept that Gauguin was in some way to blame for creating a fantasy view of Tahiti. Come on! he was an artist and surely entitled to play with his subject. Isn't that what we expect artists to do? Your text on the graphic panels isn't critical in the same way. The audioguide is a really helpful part of the interpretation, but as I listened, I found such a pronounced take on the artist's motives a bit of an obstacle to forming my own reaction to Gauguin's work.

The film on the guide made a very nice contextual layer to the presentation and your interviews were excellent - relaxed and informative at the same time.

Thanks for opening late at the weekend.

Helen Anderton

Gauguin has never been my favourite painter and this exhibition confirmed it for me. It was interesting to see the background information in the two rooms of posters, photographs and books but as most people have commented it was very crowded despite the timed entry. The drawings aren't very good and his prints, which I hadn't seen before, aren't worth showing. I think Gauguin acquired his reputation simply because he went to what was then, an exotic place to paint and he has been undeservedly revered ever since. My partner went to a Gauguin exhibition in Paris some time ago and said there were more Tahitian landscapes exhibited; perhaps they might have changed my view.

francois

Dear Christine, it is a truly wonderful exhibition! The selection of his works, the themes and the quotes were just perfect. Gauguin never really appealed to me prior to seeing your exhibition, I guess I didn't get; this time I did... and it was for me a beautiful discovery. What I saw will have a long lasting impact on my imagination and I would like to thank you so much for this achievement.

Anna M.R.R.

One of the things I have learnt quite fast when I move to London is that crowd and exhibition do not work well together for me. To the extent possible, I try to visit off-peak - last shifts on Fri nights are usually good, especially if the weather is pretty bad! Re exhibition, as a general comment, the more information is provided on the life of the artist and the social context, the better one can connect with the art work and its mood. This is exceptionally true for selfcentered Gauguin.

Lesley

I found this to be a remarkable exhibition. I have enjoyed his work for years but had a relatively limited knowledge of his whole life story. Rooms 3 and 8 - 'Life and Times' - were brilliantly informative and helped me re-imagine Gauguin in a more factual historical and social context. The paintings themselves are stunning and well worth seeing in the flesh to appreciate the texture of the support which is not conveyed in reproduction, and the amazingly fresh glowing colours. The wood carvings were unfamiliar to me and added to my appreciation of the forms within his paintings. His woodblock prints are fascinating. It was crowded but I expected that, and spent almost four hours there with a tea break in the middle! Altogether a great show, thank you.

richard barnes

Having visited Pont-Aven and Le Pouldu this Summer, the impact of the wonderful Tate Modern Gauguin exhibition meant so much more to me. The vast majority of the press reviews have got it absolutely right, viz. it's an outstanding experience. I was amazed at both the quantity and quality of the artist's work displayed; also the accessibility and clarity of the explanatory narrative - which is often not the case! Many congratulations! Richard

Margaret Poplak

Absolutely stunning. I shall visit the exhibition several times, Thank you all for the effort put ion to present this homage to Gauguin

geraldine prince

I am particularly interested in Gauguin's relationship to spirituality and religion and in particular his representations of a 'Madonna' figure as a native Tahitian. I wonder if Christine Riding has considered the impact on Gauguin (and in fact other late 19th century French artists) of the enormous popular interest in the apparations of Our Lady to Bernadette at Lourdes earlier in the century? Zola wrote a book inspired by the Lourdes events which seem to offer a parallel to the ways in which Gauguin imagines a Madonna who stands outside the 'formal' frameworks and hierarchical representations of the Catholic church in France, just as the Vrigin appeared to a peasant girl and spoke to her (according to Bernadette)in her own local patois, not the French of the Academie Francaise. I'd be interested in hearing a view on that.

Peter Wrightson

I enjoyed the exhibition and was surprised by his still life which I hadn't appreciated before. I loved that he used "observers" or viewers of the still life which added a completely new dimension. Too many exhibition visitors though!

Linda King

I found the exhibition far more spiritual than I was expecting given Gauguin's known lifestyle. I was very moved by the contrast between the colourful Breton peasants and the ghostly scene of cruxified Christ with the women at the foot of the cross. My husband and I visited Pont Aven many years ago and I was surprised when looking at the relevant exhibits to realise what a deep impact that visit had on me. I thought it was a stunning exhibition and will come back to clarify some of my initial impressions. Shame the Friends had to join the queue!

John Pank

I was disappointed in the Guiguin. There was an awful lot of spiritual guff about what this or that meant. Paul Guiguin deserted his wife and kids, went to the islands, snd in between affairs with the primitive locals (and a resultant dose of syphilis)completed a number of fairly undistinguished paintings. Those with merit--like his still lifes and flowers--were immediately devalued with crude effigies or totems.Pity!

Michael Browne

undoubtedly one of the best curated exhibitions that I have ever seen - Thank you ! And of course the content was wonderful

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