On the centenary of Henri Rousseau’s death, the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, in partnership with the Foundation Beyeler, Basel, is devoting an exhibition to this extraordinary French painter, who, until recently, has been characterized as a charming, if naive, artist. The approximately 40 masterworks from his renowned, imaginary jungle paintings to his views of Paris, portraits, allegories, and genre scenes underscore his significance as a modern-art pioneer. His construction of a visual world through stylized imagery and flat layers of color and texture, built in a collage-like format to suggest density and depth, created that greatly influenced his contemporaries, most notably Pablo Picasso.
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