Félix Fénéon: The Anarchist and the Avant-Garde—From Signac to Matisse and Beyond at The Museum of Modern Art, through January 2, 2021

“The Museum of Modern Art presents Félix Fénéon: The Anarchist and the Avant-Garde—From Signac to Matisse and Beyond, the first exhibition devoted to the influential French art critic, editor, publisher, dealer, and collector Félix Fénéon (1861–1944). Though largely unknown today and always discreetly behind the scenes in his own era, Fénéon played a key role in the careers of leading artists from Georges Seurat and Paul Signac to Pierre Bonnard and Henri Matisse, each of whom is featured prominently in the exhibition. Félix Fénéon: The Anarchist and the Avant-Garde—From Signac to Matisse and Beyond traces Fénéon’s career through approximately 130 works that highlight his initiatives to help artists via his reviews, exhibitions, and acquisitions; his commitment to anarchism; his literary engagements; and his contributions to the recognition of non-Western art. Bringing together a selection of major works that Fénéon admired, championed, and collected, alongside contemporary letters, documents, and photographs, the exhibition underscores the tremendous impact he had on the development of modernism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.” — The Museum of Modern Art

Installation views of Félix Fénéon: The Anarchist and the Avant-Garde—From Signac to Matisse and Beyond, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, August 27, 2020–January 2, 2021. Digital Image © 2020 The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Photos by Robert Gerhardt.

This exhibition is currently being presented here as part of our Virtual Views series. Explore Fénéon’s life and the art that inspired him through highlights from MoMA curator Starr Figura, along with art, audio, and video features below.

The MoMA exhibition is organized by Starr Figura, Curator, Department of Drawings and Prints, The Museum of Modern Art; Isabelle Cahn, Senior Curator of Paintings, Musée d’Orsay; Philippe Peltier, former Head, Océania and Insulindia Unit, Musée  du quai Branly-Jacques Chirac; with Anna Blaha, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Drawings and Prints, The Museum of Modern Art.

Title image: Paul Signac (French, 1863–1935). Opus 217. Against the Enamel of a Background Rhythmic with Beats and Angles, Tones, and Tints, Portrait of M. Félix Fénéon in 1890, 1890. Oil on canvas, 29 x 36 1/2″ (73.5 x 92.5 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. David Rockefeller.

Images courtesy The Museum of Modern Art.