As an art lover, there is always the temptation to reach out and touch objects in works of art to confirm what our eyes are telling us. But we resist (even the slightest fingerprint contains destructive chemicals that endanger even the hardest surfaces). However, few artists compel us to go against our better judgment like Antoine Berjon.
In this work, his mastery of illusionism makes us want to run our fingers along the leather-bound books or the gleaming white vase or pluck a seashell out of the open drawer of the chiffonier. These elements are also evidence of the artist’s delight in juxtaposing natural surfaces with those that are manufactured. Berjon’s unique style of painting, which favors personal moments of observation to traditional artistic formulas, features a restrained palette and a playful treatment of space, which some contemporary critics have even considered incompetent. We’ll let you be the judge.
This is the first in a blog series about a selection of the works from Van Gogh, Manet, Matisse: The Art of the Flower, which opens March 21. This exhibition traces the reinvention of the floral still life, as French artists in the 19th century turned this most traditional of genres into an unexpected field of experimentation and exploration. We hope that these posts will inspire you to enjoy this fascinating exhibition in person.