Finalist for the Association of American Publisher's 2021 PROSE Award for Best Art Exhibition Catalogue
Edited by Starr Figura, Isabelle Cahn, and Philippe Peltier. With contributions by by Cécile Bargues, Yaelle Biro, Anna Blaha, Megan Fontanella, Claudine Grammont, Joan U. Halperin, Charlotte Hellman, Béatrice Joyeux-Prunel, Patricia Leighten, Léa Saint-Raymond, Élodie Vaudry, and Marnin Young
Enigmatic, unassuming, and always working discreetly behind the scenes, Félix Fénéon had a profound influence on the development of modern art. As a young critic in the burgeoning art and literary scene of 1880s Paris, Fénéon was an early and ardent champion of the Neo-Impressionists. As an editor, art dealer, and publisher, he went on to promote and exhibit artists such as Pierre Bonnard, Henri Matisse, and the Italian Futurists, carving out a place for them among the Parisian avant-gardes of the first decades of the twentieth century. Fénéon was one of the earliest European collectors of art from Africa, Oceania, and the Americas, and he amassed a legendary collection of these objects as well as paintings and drawings by his artist friends. All of his activities were influenced by his fervent anarchism and his belief that art could play a fundamental role in the formation of a more harmonious, egalitarian world. Fénéon habitually shunned the spotlight, and he deliberately left few records behind when he died. Nonetheless, he is represented prominently in the collection of The Museum of Modern Art in a dazzling 1890 portrait by his lifelong friend Paul Signac. The painting is featured in this volume and in the exhibition it accompanies, the centerpiece in an array of essays, artworks, and ephemera gathered to illuminate the life of this little-known but fascinating figure. 256 pp.; 228 illus.
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