The scintillating watercolors and drawings of late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century French artist Paul Signac are the focus of this exhibition of brilliantly hued views of harbors and gardens, historic towns, and Paris streets. These works come from America’s finest collection of Signac’s graphic art, one hundred and thirty-three works that were assembled by Arkansan industrialist James T. Dyke and presented to the Arkansas Arts Center in 1999.
While Paul Signac is famous for his oil paintings, he was equally a master of art on paper, which is the focus of this exhibition. From an early date he made black and white drawings, often in conté crayon, to compose art works and to study details of his subject matter. By 1895 all of Signac’s studies from life were made in watercolor rather than with cumbersome oil paints on canvas. In addition to studies made outdoors, Signac also completed watercolors in his studio. Sketches and formally finished works, seascapes and still-lifes, show Signac’s genius for art on paper.