After being postponed for three years, the ‘painter of happiness’ Pierre Bonnard (1867-1947) will finally get his airtime at the NGV. Opening on June 9, the blockbuster Melbourne Winter Masterpieces exhibition will display more than 100 works by Bonnard alongside immersive scenography by award-winning designer India Mahdavi.
Often choosing to work from memory, Bonnard was a beloved 20th-century French painter revered for his iridescent palette that used colour to convey fleeting emotions, moods and moments. A founding member of the post-impressionist group of avant-garde painters Les Nabis, his earlier work was influenced by Paul Gauguin and the prints of Hokusai and other Japanese artists.
Bonnard’s paintings depict intimate domestic interiors and natural landscapes with a subtle and sensual use of colour and light. Curated by Paris’s Musée d’Orsay in partnership with the NGV, this world-premiere exhibition will bring 19th and early 20th-century France to Melbourne with paintings, photographs and decorative objects. Bonnard's works will be presented alongside early cinema by the Lumiere brothers and artworks by early contemporaries of his, including Maurice Denis, Édouard Vuillard and Félix Vallotton.
Dubbed by The New Yorker as a "virtuoso of colour" and "possessor of perfect chromatic pitch", Paris-based architect and designer India Mahdavi will create the exhibition’s scenography and envelop Bonnard’s works in an environment that will complement the painter's wistful use of colour and texture.
Experience an immersive world in which the designer and the painter collide when you book your tickets to see Pierre Bonnard: Designed by India Mahdavi via the NGV website.