Seurat’s Circus Sideshow Exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art is on display now thru May 29,2017.
The central piece in the Exhibition is the Circus Sideshow (Parade de cirque) painted by Georges Seurat in 1887-88. The nighttime scene is a demonstration of Seurat’s pointillism technique, creating an image in oil paint using only dots of color.
The exhibition contains about 17 Seurat works, all tied into the Circus Sideshow piece that is the main attraction. The piece is joined by some of his conté crayon drawings that display his mastery of value. All the pieces in the exhibition give off a clear sense of time and place, presenting a clear display of places that existed in France in the 1880’s. Alongside the paintings, the exhibition includes pictures and posters from circuses that also tie into the sideshow theme.
The core theme of the circus presented in Seurat’s art is one that continued to exist long after his painting was created. The exhibition ends with Picasso’s Fairground Stall painted in 1900 and Georges Rouault’s Sideshow painted ca. 1907-10. Both later paintings portray the parade and nighttime scenery present in the work of Seurat. The Exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art was made possible by the Janice H. Levin Fund, the Gail and Parker Gilbert Funs and an Anonymous Foundation.