A kaleidoscopic show of Pierre Bonnard’s paintings at Acquavella overlaps with a more modest selection at Jill Newhouse Gallery nearby — not bad for a practically hallucinatory painter who’s been dead since 1947. Bonnard bridged Post-Impressionism and Modernism; he’s famous for his colors, mind-bending and vertiginous, unfurling the full spectrum within scenes others might see as “white” or “blue.”
Where Impressionists had their favorite cathedrals or lily pads, Bonnard’s masterpieces came alive at home. Acquavella focuses on his later years, from the 1920s to 1940s, and showcases the wonders of simply laid tables and balanced baskets of fruit and fantastic landscapes rushing through the windows. “Dining Room on the Garden,” 1934-35, on loan from the Guggenheim Museum, takes pride of place on the back wall: a purpling banquet, the feverishly blue-green sky through the French doors, the hay-toned walls overtaking the chairs, a figure.
There are portraits, too, including a periwinkle bath scene (one of Bonnard’s specialties), where the red rug jostles the composition’s peace, and an alluring, long nude from 1920, where the figure is one stripe up the canvas between vertical passages of mottled gold and chevroned blue. The still lifes? Abundant. The tablecloths? Ecstatic. The kinetics of Bonnard’s compositions reside in the way objects and animals relate, appearing both detached and boundless. This is why he’s a peerless painter of dachshunds, although here you’ll need to settle for the lazier chocolate hues of “The Dining Room, Fruit and Basset Hounds.”