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Radical Light Exhibition Catalog

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Review Radical Light exhibition catalog

The catalog for the Radical Light exhibition was published as both a hardback and paperback.

Photo: © 2008 Marion Boddy-Evans. Licensed to About.com, Inc

The Bottom Line

Exhibition catalogs enable you to enjoy paintings you'd seen again and again, and if you can't get there to have an arm-chair viewing. The catalog for the Radical Light exhibition, on Italy's Divisionist painters, does almost everything I want from a catalog -- interesting introductory essays; large, good-quality reproductions of the paintings; info on the painters. Just a pity it has hardly any detail photos showing bits of paintings life size (or larger), so you can really see the Divisionist technique in action.
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  • Includes photos of paintings at both London and Zurich exhibitions.
  • Essays include one on Divisionist painting techniques, which will help you give the technique a go.
  • Good reproductions of the paintings, plus interesting discussions on some.
  • Timeline has three strands (Art / Culture / World Events) to put things into historical perspective.


  • Hardly any detail photos, showing close-up bits of paintings revealing Divisionist technique.


  • 192 pages, 150 color illustrations. Large format book (size 285x245mm). View sample pages
  • Hardback ISBN: 9781857094091. Paperback ISBN: 9781857094084. National Gallery Publications.
  • Essays include: Italian Divisionism and its Legacy; Divisionist Painting Techniques; Divisionism to Futurism.
  • Note on artists and paintings show thumbnails of all paintings with detailed captions, exhibition history, and references.
  • Biographies of each painter in the Notes section.
  • Catalog authors: Simonetta Fraquelli, Giovanna Ginex, Vivien Greene, Aurora Scott Tosini, plus Lara Pucci and Linda Schädler.

Guide Review - Radical Light Exhibition Catalog

Any painter wanting to give Divisionism or Pointillism a try should head straight for the essay on "Divisionist Painting Techniques". It discusses aspects such as what this group of artists were trying to achieve, how they painted, and the materials they used. I found myself flipping back and forth between the text and the paintings referred to in the large color plates, gaining a new appreciation as I learned more about the way the paintings were created.

As you'd expect from a decent exhibition catalog, this one has good reproductions of the paintings. A bonus is that it includes paintings from both the London and Zurich shows, so there are "extra" ones to those I saw in London (Exhibition Review). After the plates there are thumbnails of all the paintings with full captions and details of where they've been exhibited. Of more interest to me were the biographies of each painter and the discussions on selected paintings (like extended versions of the label next to a painting in the exhibition).

Having seen the exhibition, I will enjoy being able to relive it by paging through this book. If you're wanting to learn more about Divisionism or Pointillism, I'd be surprised if you didn't enjoy it too.

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