Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum

Modern Art - Neo Impressionism

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After the Impressionists colour suddenly becomes the main concern of artists.  Artists became interested in optical effects of colour and how the eye mixes colour instead of the artist mixing every colour.  Neo Impressionists were Signac, Seurat, Pisarro and Cross.
Neo Impressionism is characterized by artist's emphasis on the immediate visual impression produced by a scene and by the use of unmixed primary colors and small strokes to simulate actual reflected light.  The technique of placing small daubs of unmixed paint is called pointillism or divisionalism allowing the eye of the viewer to optically mix the colors as they looked at the canvas.

The influences of these colour investigations can be seen in everyday life.  In the supermarket.  a butcher will place his red meat on fake green grass to make it look redder and the greengrocer will put his red apples on green paper and green apples on red paper..  Look at these colour squares.  The theory is that the most intense green is in the red square.

Can you read this? Did you know our eye cannot register opposite colours at the same time.  That is why red writing on a green background seems to be jumpy.

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