One on the Isle


Paul Gauguin is known the world over for the vibrant paintings he produced while living in French Polynesia. But the “primitive” objects that inspired him, which he sometimes referenced visually, are often glossed over in discussions of his work. Not so with GAUGUIN & POLYNESIA: AN ELUSIVE PARADISE, the Seattle Art Museum’s new show, which opens February 9 and continues through April 29. Organized by the Art Centre Basel, this exhibit emphasizes the artistic integrity of the objects Gauguin portrayed by displaying relevant artifacts alongside his paintings. Elaborately carved wooden bowls, figurines cut from wood and stone, woven fans and head ornaments—a total of 60 artifacts are on display. The artistry that went into creating these objects is in full evidence and deepens the context for the 50 gorgeous works by the Post-Impressionist master. Seattle is the only United States stop on Gauguin’s grand tour. Times and prices vary. Seattle Art Museum, 1300 First Ave.; 206.654.3100;