I just scraped in to see the ‘Radiance: The Neo-Impressionists’ exhibition at the NGV in Melbourne before it closed. I wasn’t really sure what Neo-Impressionism was, but found out (a little history lesson here) that it was the movement in France and Belgium from the 1880s through to the outbreak of the First World War. It all began when Paul Signac and Georges Seurat first met in Paris in 1884. They were young, committed and anti-establishment, rejecting preceding painting methods in favour of an ordered scientific approach.
What amazed me was their style – in short, putting individual colours side by side (instead of blending them together) in little elongated marks. The result is stunning, the paintings glow with colour and light. As Signac said, ‘It is this love of beautiful colour which makes us paint’. And he was right.
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