'Gauguin: Maker of Myth' at National Gallery showcases late-19th-century artwork

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Friday, February 25, 2011

"Gauguin: Maker of Myth," which opens Sunday at the National Gallery of Art, brings together nearly 120 works by the modern-art superstar. Among them are several pieces for which U.S. appearances are rare - or, in some cases, unprecedented.

Three works are in this country for the first time, according to the gallery: "Woman With Mango Fruits," which was carved and painted by the artist in 1889, as well as "Two Children" and "Arearea no Varua Ino (Words of the Devil)," oils from 1889 and 1894, respectively.

Another piece, "Musique Barbare (Barbaric Music)," an 1893 work in pencil, ink and watercolor, has never been publicly displayed in the United States, while "Pape Moe (Mysterious Water)," an oak bas-relief carved by Gauguin in 1894, has not been seen by the American public since the 1920s.

The exhibit, organized by the National Gallery and the Tate Modern in London, also brings together four religious oil paintings from Brittany for the first time. "Vision of the Sermon (Jacob Wrestling with the Angel)" from 1888 and "Christ in the Garden of Olives," "Breton Calvary (The Green Christ)" and "The Yellow Christ," all from 1889.

- Jacqueline Trescott

Gauguin: Maker of Myth Sunday through June 5 at the National Gallery of Art, East Building, Fourth Street and Constitution Avenue NW. 202-737-4215. www.nga.gov .


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