An original study of Gauguin’s writings and their central role in his artistic practice.
As a French artist who lived in Polynesia, Paul Gauguin (1848-1903) occupies a crucial position in histories of European primitivism. Savage Tales explores the artist’s wide-ranging literary output and analyses his original, often richly illustrated manuscripts, reinstating them for the first time as an integral component of his art.
This beautifully illustrated volume considers the artist’s travel writing, journalism, art criticism and essays, placins them in the context of not just his artistic practice, but his complaex position in French colonial culture. The apparent naivety of the artist’s writing, Savage Tales contends, was deliberate: the seemingly haphazerd, collage-like form of Gauguin’s manuscripts enabled him to evoke the ‘primitive’ culture that he celebrated, while rejecting the style of establishment critics.
Linda Goddard’s critical analysis of Gauguin’s writings significantly enriches our understandning of artistic encounters in the French colonial context, while providing a glimpse into the richness of Gauguin’s original manuscrips – a glorious interweaving of text and image that gives us fresh insight into his life and art.