Paul Gauguin was a French, Post-Impressionist painter and printmaker. While Gauguin is best remembered for his colorful oil paintings, he made a portfolio of woodcuts, known as the Noa Noa series.
Tahitian Woman with Evil Spirit. Traced monotype. 1899/1900.
Eve (The Nightmare) Monotype (1899/1900)
Always searching for the unknown and exotic, Gauguin travelled to Tahiti in 1891. After returning to Europe a couple of years later, he began working on a book of the “Noa Noa” woodcut illustrations, reflecting on his time in Tahiti. Ten such woodcuts survive, along with seventy-eight additional prints that include woodcut, etching and lithography.
The Universe is Created. The Noa Noa Suite. Woodcut. Princeton University of Art Museum.
Change of Residence. 1899. Woodcut
Maruru Merci (An Offering of Gratitude) Woodcut. Yale University Art Gallery
Gauguin’s prints used symbolism and Tahitiian text. The work was a significant departure from what his colleagues in Europe were making. His style greatly influenced the French avant-garde. While underappreciated during his lifetime, Gauguin is now remembered as one of the most influential of the modern artists. Gauguin’s work is now in museums and private collections around the world. His work was an inspiration to such icons as Picasso and Matisse.