Gauguin’s Prints Are Sexy, Too

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

French painter Paul Gauguin quit his stockbroker’s job and left his wife and five children to move to the South Pacific island of Tahiti. There, in the 1890s, he did his famous, lush paintings of local women.

Recently, he has been criticized as a chauvinist who romanticized the hard life of the natives. Now a new show at the Museum of Modern Art highlights his rarely-seen woodblock prints and woodcarvings.

WNYC's art critic Deborah Solomon says it's the best show she has ever seen at MoMA, because it shows a very powerful side of the post-impressionist artist we haven't seen before. 

"When you look at his ceramics, they look like they came out of a volcano. When you look at his woodcarvings, they look like they climbed out of a tree. The work is incredibly earthy," she said. "And for me, it really re-invented Gauguin as an artist who was desperate to articulate his vision."

Paul Gauguin, Maruru (Offerings of Gratitude) from the suite Noa Noa (Fragrant Scent). 1893-94. Woodcut. (Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Mass. Photo by Michael Agee © Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts)

Paul Gauguin, Tahitian Idol. 1894-95. Woodcut. (Private collection, USA)


Deborah Solomon

Hosted by:

Soterios Johnson


More in:

Comments [3]


Art is what the viewer thinks it is. When I listen to contemporary music, it sounds like someone else who composed a similar piece a week earlier. Very boring. Most contemporary singers can not sing. It seems that that the world is waiting for something different and entertaining. Maybe what we are hearing is reflecting the chaos all over the world. I am curious what other people think about this.

Mar. 17 2014 02:17 PM
betty from Manhattan

Turns me off even more learning Gauguin not only abandoned 5 kids and their mom in Europe but impregnated many Tahitian woman in a culture where many were poor and might have difficulty supporting a child.

Mar. 04 2014 11:48 PM
Penelope from Astoria

Wow....The prints shown on this page are great :)

Mar. 04 2014 10:17 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.


Latest Newscast




WNYC is supported by the Charles H. Revson Foundation: Because a great city needs an informed and engaged public


Supported by