Let’s be honest: Pierre-Auguste Renoir painted a lot of crap. Over the course of his lengthy career, the most prolific and financially successful of the Impressionists produced thousands of paintings and became much sought after for his gauzy, sun-dappled canvases depicting polite Parisian society. Arguably it was his art more than anyone else’s that transformed Impressionism from a revolutionary artistic movement into a byword for inoffensive, crowd-pleasing exhibits.
The Kimbell aims to rescue the artist from that reputation with its new blockbuster show. By concentrating on the painter’s nudes, Renoir: The Body, the Senses aims to track Renoir’s evolution over decades of work and bring out how he was as much a subversive as his fellow Impressionists, one appreciated by the likes of Matisse and Picasso. If that doesn’t do anything for you, there’s always Renoir’s highly observant treatment of light and color, which changed with the development of his style. More than just a ray of Parisian sunshine as the days grow long, the Kimbell’s show might just make you consider Renoir as something other than the least substantial of his colleagues. It might convince you that he’s a master.
Renoir: The Body, the Senses runs Sun thru Jan 26 at the Kimbell Art Museum, 3333 Camp Bowie Blvd, FW. Admission is $14-18.