Courtesy Dixon Gallery & Gardens
JEAN-LOUIS FORAIN, "Dancer in a Colored Tutu," ca. 1890. Chalk, pastel, and gouache on paper.
Henri-Charles Guérard was born in Paris, France, 170 years ago. He was an engraver best known for his etching and lithography, and beginning July 31st, his work will be exhibited at the Dixon Gallery & Gardens.
“Henri Guérard and the Phenomenon of the Artist’s Fan in France, 1875-1900,” according to the Dixon’s current newsletter, “celebrates that brief yet exciting period when the hand fan became a collective aesthetic phenomenon.”
In the nineteenth century, fans were utilitarian, particularly in the warmer climates. But for a brief period of time — about 25 years (Guérard himself only lived to be 50) — they became canvases, and artists such as Edgar Degas, Édouard Manet, and Paul Gauguin took an interest. Guérard was, by far, the most prolific with the medium.
“Artists took this great interest in decorating these fans,” says Julie N. Pierotti, the Martha R. Robinson Curator at the Dixon. “Guérard really championed the fan format and made fans for women to carry, but also made fans just to experiment with the demilune shape as a composition. It was this great, brief, exciting period where artists were experimenting, and were influenced by Japanese art, which was flooding into Paris at the time.”
The exhibit will feature about 45 works by Guérard and others, and draws from the Dixon’s collection, as well as public and private collections from across the United States and Europe. It will run through October 9th.
For more information, visit dixon.org.