For the past few years, MOMA seems to have been under the impression that, like animals scrambling onto the ark, great artists are best paired up - at least when it comes to exhibitions. This idea worked well for the Picasso/Braque and the Picasso/Matisse shows, where seeing two major artists side by side really did help foster a greater understanding of both the artists' influences on one another and how these influences affected the development of art in general.
We have some reservations, however, regarding whether this will be the case for the new (finally Picasso-less) exhibit Pioneering Modern Painting: Cézanne and Pissarro 1865 - 1885. While Pissarro was an immensely talented painter, we fear his work might not be a strong enough or important enough to stand up against the overwhelming power of Cézanne's. However, so far reviewers' reactions have been generally positive, so we will reserve final judgment until we see the show the weekend.
The roughly chronological exhibit, which consists of about 80 paintings and 8 drawings, traces both artists' work from the 1860s through the 1880s. During these two decades, the artists often worked closely together, in fact often painting the same scene-side-by side. Their paintings from this period are displayed next to one another, so it should be interesting to see their both their similarities as well as the differences which eventually led them in separate artistic directions.
The exhibition will be on display at MOMA through September 12th. On July 6 at 6:00pm, eminent art historian Linda Nochlin will be giving a lecture related to the exhibition, "Pissarro, Cézanne, and the Eternal Feminine."