Manet: The Man Who Invented Modern Art

Musée d'Orsay
62 rue de Lille
April 5–July 3

Curated by Stéphane Guégan

In the early 1980s, when the last major retrospective of his work was held in France, Édouard Manet was primarily regarded as a precursor of formalist modernism. In the intervening quarter century, however, strong new interpretative frameworks have offered very different screens through which to view the artist. This exhibition, informed by sociopolitical readings of Manet’s work as well as new research on the French painting of his day, will reposition the artist in his original milieu by bringing together later and lesser known works alongside a reconstitution of the exhibition he staged in 1880 for the French publication La Vie Moderne. Forgoing a linear, progressive argument for a network of interwoven threads, the d’Orsay may very well offer a picture of Manet exactly as our time would have him: contingent, engaged, even inconsistent.