PAUL SIGNAC (1863 - 1935)
Paul Signac (French, 1863–1935) was a painter and printmaker associated with the Neo-Impressionist movement, and known for applying distinct points of color to his canvases in accordance with color theories emerging at the time. Largely self-taught, Signac was first inspired to pursue his career while visiting an Claude Monet (French, 1840–1926) exhibition at La Vie moderne in 1880. Signac’s early works followed the tradition of Impressionism, but changed drastically after meeting Georges Seurat (French, 1859–1891) in 1884. Signac’s approach transitioned from an intuitive interpretation of the outdoors to a more rigorous examination of paint properties.
He was one of the first Parisian artists to settle in St. Tropez on the Mediterranean shore in 1892. Here, Signac’s brushwork became looser and his colors brighter, as he created an idealized vision of rural life that reflected his anarchist sympathies. From 1893 to 1895, he completed the painting Au temps d’harmonie, one of the best examples of Signac’s utopian aspirations, and his success in depicting pastoral scenes using his newly-developed Neo-Impressionsist brushwork. Signac consolidated his defense of Neo-Impressionism by writing D’Eugène Delacroix au Néo-Impressionnisme (1899), a text that influenced the work of the Futurists in Italy, and the Fauves in France. Although Signac’s work was not widely recognized at the start of his career, by the mid-1880s he had exhibited at the Salon des Indépendants—of which he was a founding member—as well as several other galleries.
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