At the age of 43, Paul Gauguin left his wife, five children, and the art capital of Paris to chase artistic awakening in the South Seas. He settled in French Polynesia, where he painted natives of the Pacific isles in heated color and silent sensuality. Western ideas of “the exotic” and “the erotic” are at play in these works, and troubling exploitation meets honest homage. In this exhibition, works from contemporary artists based in Samoa, New Zealand, French Polynesia, and the U.K. are placed in dialogue with those of the French master. —E.C.
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