Paul Signac and Georges Sureat were the founders and the chief proponents of the Neo-Impressionist group of artists, the most prominent force in French art from 1886 until 1891. This exhibition represents the complete holdings of Paul Signac's work in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the majority of which are in the Robert Lehman Collection. Parallel to this show, drawings and oil sketches of Seurat from New York collections are exhibited in the galleries of the Department of Drawings.
Robert Lehman was very fond of Signac's art. He appreciated the dignified serenity and exact organization of the compositions, and he admired the free-flowing arabesques of line and the brilliance of the colors. Mr. Lehman acquired several oils and dozens of watercolors by Signac during the long years of his collecting. Many of these were given to museums and friends, but a considerable group of the artist's works remained in the collection at the time it entered the Metropolitan Museum. Therefore, it seemed natural that as part of our program of making available to the public larger segments of the Robert Lehman Collection, an exhibition of Paul Signac's works should be organized. Furthermore, for the first time, we have included in this exhibition the Signac holdings of other departments of the Museum. The drawings and oils sketches of Georges Seurat from the Robert Lehman Collection are naturally all included in the Seurat exhibition.