Les Nabis - Prophets of Modernism
Two Fridays - October 6 and October 13, 2023
Corte Madera Store
$120 for both, $65 for one session
In 1889 a group of artists calling themselves Nabis (the Hebrew word for Prophets) abandoned Impressionism and Academic painting calling for a new art.
It all began in Pont Aven where Paul Gauguin encouraged his disciple Paul Serusier to paint Le Bois d’Amour or The Talisman and Maurice Denis issued his famous dictum that a painting need no subject, as it was an arrangement of colors on a flat surface. Out went linear perspective and in came bold flat colors.
In 1891 Eduard Vuillard, Pierre Bonnard, and Maurice Denis established themselves in Paris, soon joined by more artists: Ker Xavier Roussel, Paul Ranson, Felix Vallotton, August Cazalis and others. All employed bold colors, distinct outlines, and a disregard for perspective.
We will study their works and learn of their supporters: poets, critics and journalists. Vuillard and Bonnard were labeled “Intimists.” We shall see why this was so. They all embraced the idea of Art as Decoration and some created huge wall paintings, thus abolishing the difference between Art and Craft and - we could say - returning painting to its origins on walls. In spite of their common goals, their subject matter varied greatly. This is where the fun of looking begins!
Kerrin Meis taught art history at SFSU for ten years and has led study tours in Europe. Her Book Passage classes have been favorites for years.