New York

Impressionism

Wildenstein Gallery

There is little to say about the big show of Impressionism that was held at Wildenstein. I indicate very clearly elsewhere in this issue why I think surveys of this kind are not especially interesting as ensembles, however much some of the works may have to offer singly; and in addition—perhaps it has to do with the famous “radicalization” of the intellectuals!—I seem to have lost touch with the upper Fifth and upper Park Avenue public which attended the show in large numbers and, from what I could see, found it new and stimulating. The quality of the paintings was high, the hanging a bit crowded and confusing, but the reproductions in the catalog have the great merit of being arranged in chronological order. I seem to be one of a very few who wonder what “Impressionism” was, if indeed it was a coherent movement at all—several times I have tried to show that it was not. But whatever the case, I’m sure everyone will agree that the only way to study what it was all about is to take its productions in the order in which they were done. I know this sounds stupid, and it is certainly very simple, but it still is not done very often.

Jerrold Lanes