In 1884, Schuffenecker founded the Salon des Indépendents [Salon of independent artists] with Signac, Seurat, and Redon, and featured in the last Impressionist exhibition in 1886.
In 1889, he organised and took part in the Groupe Impressionniste et Synthétiste [Impressionist and Synthetist Group] exhibition with Gauguin and Émile Bernard at the Café Volpini, within the very confines of the World Fair which had refused to display them officially. As its name suggests, this group wanted to dissociate itself from Naturalism and Impressionism, deemed too analytical, and advocated a vision of synthesis which, by eliminating detail, would allow the deepest essence of objects to emerge.
In 1892, Schuffenecker joined the Rose+Croix movement and later adhered to the doctrine of theosophy. He exhibited at the first exhibitions of the Peintres Impressionnistes et Symbolistes [Impressionist and Symbolist painters] in 1891 and 1892, and at the first exhibition of the Groupe Ésotérique [Esoteric Group] in 1900. From then on he used the pastel technique more often to produce strange landscapes populated with mysterious veiled feminine figures, priestesses, or eternal wanderers.
Depressive and mystical, he withdrew more and more into himself whilst still continuing to exhibit several works at the Salon des Indépendents until his death in 1934.