Art Review: A Taste of Nature’s Eternity

Many French Impressionists sought to capture the fugitive, atmospheric effects and fleeting subjects they observed when painting in plein-air. Their canvases reverberated with the precipitous pace and ephemeral pleasures that marked the world they knew, and threw into stark relief the solitary, immutable and ultimately timeless landscapes of their contemporary, Paul Cézanne (1839-1906). In the beautiful and absorbing exhibition “Cézanne Site/Non-Site,” the first show devoted to the artist in Spain in 30 years, Cézanne’s singular landscapes (of sites) are explored in the context of his studio (or non-site) practice.

Although it borrows the words of the artist Robert Smithson, whose abstract assemblages of raw landscape elements, which he termed “non-sites,” conjure up their original outdoor settings, this exhibition of about 60 paintings and watercolors by Cézanne and a few by his early disciples follows its own distinctive path. As its curator, Guillermo Solana, suggests, Cézanne’s landscapes embodied not so much momentary

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