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Beyond the Easel: Decorative Painting by Bonnard, Vuillard, Denis, and Roussel, 1890-1930

February 25, 2001–May 16, 2011

These artists took from Gauguin the challenge to traditional easel painting, especially his notion that all art should be decorative. By making mural-like paintings and screens, they not only developed a new language for picture-making favoring large flat surfaces and allover design, they also returned art to its original function as decoration for a specific interior setting. In addition to at least five splendid folding screens, the exhibition includes and reunites paintings that, although once part of ensembles or series, have since been separated and dispersed into public and private collections. In some instances, the installation evokes the interior for which the works were originally conceived.