Private Lives: Home And Family In The Art Of The Nabis
Private Lives: Home and Family in the Art of the Nabis, Paris,1889–1900 explores the beautiful, enigmatic, and paradoxical work of Pierre Bonnard, Édouard Vuillard, Maurice Denis, and Félix Vallotton, four members of the Nabi brotherhood. The Nabis were a group of young artists who were inspired by Paul Gauguin and the growing current of Symbolism in literature and theater. They sought to create an art of suggestion and emotion.
Private Lives takes a close look at their paintings, prints, and drawings of the home, family, and children, or what Bonnard referred to as the small pleasures and “modest acts of life.” Throughout their formative years in the 1890s, these four artists were deeply entwined in each other’s lives; Bonnard, Vuillard, and Denis shared a studio, and Swiss-born Vallotton became a close associate of all three and remained a lifelong confidant of Vuillard. Although their styles varied, each returned repeatedly to the motifs of homelife, romantic love, and family. Yet the domestic world was not always what it seemed; suppressed secrets, hidden affairs, and familial tension bubble beneath the surface, challenging the viewer to construct the unspoken narrative of these small but powerful images of interiors, gardens, and the city of Paris.