SUNDAY 6 AUGUST: CEZANNE Lecture 4: the Artist of Doubt, Contradiction and Crisis

CEZANNE Lecture 4: The Artist of Doubt, Contradiction and Crisis



Level 1 Childers Street entrance

TICKETS $10/ $5 (student) available at the door

Friends of the Drill Hall Gallery FREE

The painting above, exhibited in the Salon des Indépendants in 1900, represents a watershed in the public reception of Cézanne’s paintings. He had become a role model for an emerging generation of painters.

Maurice Denis, who painted this work, described how he and his contemporaries had been introduced to Cézanne’s work by Gauguin:

“He [Gauguin] revealed Cézanne’s oeuvre to us not as the work of an independent artist of genius, of an irregular of the school of Manet, but what it is in actuality: the outcome of a long effort, the necessary result of a great crisis.”

What was the nature of this crisis?

The fourth lecture in our series examines the multiple contexts that Cézanne straddled, and substantiates Maurice Denis’ view of his achievement as, essentially, an extraordinarily resourceful and creative adaptation to crisis. This was a collective crisis, not merely a personal one, even though Cézanne seemed to bear the brunt of it more explicitly and dramatically than any of his contemporaries.

The distinctive developments of neo-impressionism, fauvism, cubism and the first inklings of abstract painting were all associated with Cézanne as a forerunner and hero of creative crisis management.

As the personification of doubt, of contradictoriness, of improvisation in the face of chaos, Cézanne came to exemplify what it was to be an authentically modern artist.


Terence Maloon was the curator of Classic Cézanne, the exhibition held at the Art of New South Wales in 1998. He contributed a major essay to the catalogue of the exhibition Cézanne Finished Unfinished ( Kunstforum Vienna and Zurich Kunst…. 1999). He is a member of the Société Paul Cézanne in Aix-en-Provence. In 2006 he led an epic cultural tour for the Art Gallery Society of New South Wales entitled “In the Footsteps of Cézanne”.

TICKETS $10/ $5 (student) available at the door

Friends of the Drill Hall Gallery FREE

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Updated:  25 July 2017/ Responsible Officer:  DHG Director/ Page Contact:  Drill Hall Gallery