William Poundstone blogs about Gustave Moreau's large body of near abstract works on the occasion of the exhibition A Strange Magic: Gustave Moreau's Salome at the Hammer Museum, on view through December 9, 2012.
Poundstone writes: "At his 1898 death, Moreau left hundreds of near-abstractions in his studio, none of which had ever been exhibited publicly. His partisans have made the case that their man was the first abstractionist. Moreau began producing small, brushy sketches as early as 1855. Some are related to major paintings like Salome; others seem to be color experiments that may not have been preparatory to anything. By the late 1880s Moreau was about where Kandinsky would be 20 years later, producing paintings that were non-objective save for a fugitive hint of figure or a descriptive title."
Edited by artist Brett Baker, Painters' Table highlights writing from the painting blogosphere as it is published and serves as a platform for exploring blogs that focus primarily on the subject of painting.