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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Ongoing: Paul Gauguin: Paris, 1889

Posted By on Wed, Dec 23, 2009 at 3:04 PM

Imagine this happening in the 21st century: A stockbroker loses his job in a market crash, decides to try to make a living as a painter and begins traveling the globe. At a World’s Fair in Paris, he organizes an art show at a coffee shop so he and a bunch of buddies can show off their new ideas about painting. The show — a sideshow, really — doesn’t get a lot of attention at the time but ends up changing the direction of Western art. That’s more or less what Paul Gauguin did with his 1889 exhibit at Monsieur Volpini’s Café des Artes. If you haven’t seen the small-scale reassembly of that show put together at the Cleveland Museum of Art (with the cooperation of the Van Gogh Museum of Amsterdam), Christmas break is a fine time to make the trip. Paul Gauguin: Paris, 1889 brings together 75 paintings, works on paper, woodcarvings and ceramics by Gauguin and his contemporaries. It runs through January 18 at the Cleveland Museum of Art (11150 East Blvd., 216.421.7350). Tickets: $6-$12; kids under five free. — Michael Gill

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