“The Fauve Landscape,” currently at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, presents a murky, soft-focus view of a bright, clear moment in the history of modern art. Judi Freeman, who organized the show for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, has taken what she calls a “site-specific” approach to her subject. This means that she has grouped paintings by Matisse, Derain, Vlaminck, Dufy, Marquet, Braque, anfd a number of other artists in terms of the locales that they depict—and where, as these are for the most part paintings done directly from nature, they were done. At the Met this results in a series of galleries with captions posted high on the walls that read “Paris,” “Suburbs of Paris,” “St. Tropez,” “Collioure,” “Normandy,” and so forth. It’s a sort of meandering tour of places where bohemian artists lived or visited in the period 1904-1908. It’s...

 
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