Paul Gauguin up close at Sky Gallery | Page 3 | Sunday Observer

Paul Gauguin up close at Sky Gallery

13 August, 2023

Hot on the heels of the successful “Van Gogh In Sri Lanka”, the Fareed Uduman Art Forum will present another Stellar Exhibition – “Gauguin In Sri Lanka” at Sky Gallery from August 18 to August 27.

A collection of 45 fine museum quality canvas prints framed in the exact sizes of the originals painted by Paul Gauguin (1848-1903).The Art Forum is dedicated to bringing to the people of Sri Lanka, works of art beyond their reach, including masterpieces of great European painters whose works hang in far-away galleries and museums.

Visitors to the exhibition will be stunned by the glorious colour and the huge sizes of most of Gauguin’s paintings - that have been carefully selected from his period works of Rouen, Paris, Provencal, Martinique, Brittany, Tahiti and the Marquesas Islands. Among the magnificent exhibits they can view up close are iconic masterpieces such as: “The Yellow Christ”, “When will you marry?”, “What news”, “Two Tahitian Women”, “What! Are You Jealous?”, “Where Are You Going?” “Adam and Eve”, “We shall not go to market today”.


Paul Gauguin is one of the most significant French artists to be initially schooled in Impressionism, but who broke away from its fascination with the everyday world to pioneer a new style of painting broadly referred to as Symbolism. As the Impressionist movement was culminating in the late 1880s, Gauguin experimented with new colour theories and semi-decorative approaches to painting.

He famously worked one summer in an intensely colourful style alongside Vincent Van Gogh in the south of France - which lasted nine turbulent weeks. Gauguin’s rejection of his European family, society, and the Paris art world for a life apart, in the land of the “Other,” has come to serve as a romantic example of the artist-as-wandering-mystic. Gauguin’s naturalistic forms and “primitive” subject matter would embolden an entire, younger generation of painters to move decisively away from late Impressionism and pursue more abstract, or poetically inclined subjects, some inspired by French Symbolist poetry, others derived from myth, ancient history, and non-Western cultural traditions for motifs with which they might refer to the more spiritual and supernatural aspects of human experience.

Gauguin ultimately proved extremely influential to 20th-century modern art, in particular that of Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque and their development of Cubism.

Likewise, Gauguin’s endorsement of bold colour palettes would have a direct effect on the Fauvists, most notably André Derain and Henri Matisse, both of whom would frequently employ intensely resonant, emotionally expressive, and otherwise “un-realistic” colour.

Source of encouragement

In his final decade, Gauguin lived in Tahiti, and subsequently Punaauia, finally making his way to the Marquesas Islands.

Director of the Fareed Uduman Art forum and Sky Gallery Jomo Uduman said, “There are many who may feel intimidated by art wondering if there is a kind of base level of understanding required to join the conversation. Art can be experienced fully if we stop approaching it with formality and reverence and allow ourselves to interact with it in a spontaneous way.”

“Like with music, we should relax around art, and learn to use it as a constant source of encouragement and support, to get to know ourselves better, and understand our joys and suffering. Above all we must believe in the power of art and help free it from the straitjacket of exclusivity and give it back to all those who love it, the everyday men and women of our land,” Uduman said.

As a young, but progressive gallery, Sky will strive to maintain flexibility by also showcasing niche and unconventional art and thus play a significant role in Sri Lanka’s art world by also providing emerging artists with opportunities to exhibit and a platform for creativity and experimentation. This philosophy of course lies grounded in a genuine love for the art community, our culture, and a willingness to shoulder the burdens that artists may face.