Front Runners: September in Chicago with Georges

  • Marilyn Jackson

Sunday in the Park with George, the 1985 Pulitzer Prize–winning Broadway musical by Stephen Sondheim, told the story of Parisian artist Georges-Pierre Seurat as he painted his most famous work, A Sunday on La Grande Jatte, which showcases the dots, dabs, lines, and dashes of color for which he is known. Now the Art Institute of Chicago (312.443.3600, www.artic.edu), the painting’s owner since 1926, is showing Seurat and the Making of La Grande Jatte. The exhibit details Seurat’s artistic odyssey through color and light theory during his work on the canvas, which was completed in three stages over the course of five years. Museum researchers have also constructed a full-size digital version of La Grande Jatte as it was probably first seen when unveiled in May 1886—before unstable paint colors had faded. The exhibit, which will run through September 19, will include some 130 other paintings and works by Seurat and by Impressionists Signac, Camille and Lucien Pissarro, Monet, and Renoir, all of whom influenced, or were influenced by, Seurat.  

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