Post-Impressionism By Beggs, Margo L.
The British critic Roger Fry devised the term “Post-Impressionism” in 1910 while organizing an exhibition in London at the Grafton Galleries to introduce recent French art to the British public. For him, Post-Impressionism meant painters who “consider the Impressionists too naturalistic.” He argued that Post-Impressionist painters privileged the simplicity of form and the expression of emotions over the Impressionists’ tendency to capture mere “shimmer and colour.” Fry singled out Paul Gauguin, Vincent van Gogh, and Paul Cézanne for their efforts to advance Impressionism. An exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1929, organized by Alfred H. Barr, Jr., added Georges Seurat to the core group of Post-Impressionists. Barr declared that through their artistic innovations, all four artists had emerged from “the Impressionist blind-alley.” While subsequent exhibitions and publications have attempted to broaden the range of artists who could be considered Post-Impressionists (for example, an exhibition organized by the Royal Academy of Arts in London in 1979), Seurat, Gauguin, van Gogh, and Cézanne continue to be celebrated as the artists who made the most noteworthy contributions to Post-Impressionism, forging the way to Fauvism, Cubism, Expressionism, and beyond.