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Pissaro's People at the Legion of Honor, SFJuxtapoz // Wednesday, 28 Dec 2011
While in the neighborhood after a surf at Ocean Beach, I wandered up to the Legion of Honor. It had been a while since I made the trip to museum propped right in Lincoln Park overlooking the Golden Gate. The featured exhibition was Pissaro's People, featuring the famed impressionists selected work through its earlier stages to the later years compiling finished paintings and preparatory sketches to further reveal Pissaro's careful artistic decisions in each piece. The exhibition highlights Pissaro's anarchist political views and how it charges his artwork in ways that the casual viewer may not realize. Idealized landscapes and scenes of farm work are more than they seem. In Pissaro's eyes, these works were a utopian countryside after the anarchist revolution where private property and forced labor has yielded to communal work that is not compelled by anyone but rather from self discipline for the greater good. The show compiles a great survey of Pissaro's work accompanied by an informative contextualization of the artist's personal life and political views.