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This exhibition occurred in the past. The archival exhibition summary below describes the exhibition as it was conceived while on view.


Paul Gauguin: The Art of Invention features an exceptional display of 90 paintings, wood carvings, ceramics, prints, and writings that showcase the artist’s fascination with experimentation in various media. Gauguin created his own multi-faceted artistic style, much like he crafted his own distinctive path through life. His style evolved over time; in painting, he is most recognized for his experimental use of color and flattening of space and forms, an approach which was distinctly different from that seen in his earlier, Impressionist period paintings. His inventiveness transcended painting and print-making, and in the works he created in ceramics and in wood.

The exhibition is grounded in a prodigious loan of 55 works by Gauguin from the distinguished collection of Copenhagen’s Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek. The works in the exhibition will take visitors on a journey through Gauguin’s artistic output ignited by the people and cultures he encountered on his global travels, from early Impressionist paintings to iconic works from Brittany and Tahiti to fascinating three-dimensional objects.

Presented alongside the Glyptotek works are pieces from the Saint Louis Art Museum’s collection, including Polynesian sculptures and Peruvian ceramics. An extremely rare manuscript hand-written by Gauguin himself helps give insight into the thoughts of the artist. The manuscript, Modern Thought and Catholicism, was a gift to the Museum in 1948 from film star and St. Louis native, Vincent Price.

The exhibition is curated by Simon Kelly, curator of modern and contemporary art, with research assistant Abigail Yoder.


Audio Guide

Enhance your Paul Gauguin: The Art of Invention experience with a free audio guide featuring expert commentary on 11 works in the exhibition.

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