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Composing Nature

Comparing his art to music, painter Paul Signac imagined himself as a composer, his dotted brushstrokes like the notes on a score. Artists across time have communicated in nature’s visual language, creatively altering and arranging it to share a personal vision. They might represent a place by evoking an idea or mood, as J.M.W. Turner did, pouring emotion into his paintings of land and sea. Paul Cézanne sought out the structure in nature, and Gustav Klimt brought out its decorative patterns. Others, like Yves Tanguy, have traveled the landscape of the mind, producing an imaginative art form inspired by, but not quite like, the nature we see.

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