Although he is most often celebrated as a painter, Paul Cézanne’s extraordinary vision was fuelled by his experiments on paper. In pencil and watercolour, on individual sheets and across the pages of sketchbooks, the artist described form through multiple probing lines; realized compositions through repetitions and transformations; and conjured kaleidoscopic colour through laborious layering of watercolour. It is in these material realities of drawing where we see Cézanne at his most modern: embracing the unfinished, making process visible, and actively inviting the viewer to participate in the act of perception.
To date, exhibitions devoted to Cézanne have tended to focus on a single genre, a specific theme, or an isolated moment within the artist’s oeuvre. Published to accompany an exhibition at The Museum of Modern Art, this is the first major effort to unite drawings from across Cézanne’s entire career, tracing the development of his practice on paper, exploring working methods that transcend subject, and devoting research to conservation as well as curatorial fronts.