Mary Cassatt, Peasant Mother and Child
Mary Cassatt in Paris: Prints & Drawings from the Ambroise Vollard Collection is the first exhibition in the new look Mona Bismarck American Center (formerly the Mona Bismark Foundation). With over 60 drawings, etchings, aquatints and pastels, this impressive collection gives us a great insight into the aesthetic experiments and innovative techniques employed by Cassatt in her printmaking.
An American with a love of Paris, Cassatt trained in Paris, submitting works to the Paris Salon in the 1870s, but in the end identifying more with the groundbreaking Impressionists, with whom she exhibited between 1879 and 1886. Her works on paper show the influence of her friend and mentor Edgar Degas.
The highlight of the show are the prints in the middle gallery, a series of domestic scenes of women and children. Cassatt was inspired by Japonism, the 19th century craze for Japanese art and by Japanese woodblock prints in particular. The cropped compositions and strong, almost decorative, lines of her aquatints allow a certain distance from the subjects, who become studies in form rather than sentimental portraits.
Mary Cassatt in Paris: Prints & Drawings from the Ambroise Vollard Collection is on at the Mona Bismarck American Center until 20/01/13