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Chaim Soutine: An Expressionist in Paris

Kleeblatt, Norman L., Silver, Kenneth E.

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ISBN 10: 3791319329 / ISBN 13: 9783791319322
Published by Prestel Publications & Jewish, 1998
New Condition: New Hardcover
From Murray Media (North Miami Beach, FL, U.S.A.)

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Chaim Soutine: An Expressionist in Paris

Publisher: Prestel Publications & Jewish

Publication Date: 1998

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:New

About this title


Born near Minsk in White Russia, the painter Chaim Soutine (1894-1943) created his major works in France between the two World Wars. He is identified with the School of Paris, the group of artists, many of them foreign-born and Jewish, who lived and worked in the French capital between the wars. Known as a "painter's painter", Soutine worked with unreserved gesture and emotion, using exuberant colour, thinkly applied paint, and sweeping brushwork. "Chaim Soutine" is a comprehensive, ground-breaking book that rediscovers this important artist, providing an overview of his life, work and aesthetic influence, as well as his critical reception. Essays by leading scholars and curators assess Soutine's art from new vantage points, including the changing critical reception of his work in Paris between the wars, as well as in the US and France in the aftermath of World War II and the Holocaust. The essays also examine the influence of Soutine's Jewish and French immigrant background on his work and reception, and introduce us to his important patrons and major collectors. These included Albert Barnes, the famous Philadelphia collector, who discovered Soutine's work in 1922-23 and purchased 52 of his paintings. The book features presentations and information never published before, including a photo-essay composed of rare photographs of the artist, newly discovered correspondence between Soutine and the French art historian Elie Faure, and the first radiographic analysis of the artist's work, which brings to light new evidence about Soutine's use of materials and his process of painting.


It's tempting to put artists in their places, linking them to an era, a style, or a movement, but there are always a few, like Chaim Soutine, who don't quite fit. "Soutine's paintings are so different," writes Kenneth E. Silver, "that the first effect is likely to be utter bewilderment."

Soutine was born in a Jewish ghetto in Lithuania in 1893 and died in 1943, in wartime France, where he was forced to hide in the countryside to elude Nazi occupiers. He has been called a postimpressionist, in keeping with his time, but his torturous, richly colored paintings--the studies of dead animals fresh from the butcher shop may be his best-known images--relate more closely to expressionism, or de Kooning's wild women.

This fascinating volume, published to accompany an exhibition at New York's Jewish Museum, includes 10 essays on Soutine's life and work. It is filled with black-and-white snapshots of the handsome artist and his many friends, including the painter Amedeo Modigliani and the American writer Henry Miller, that transport the reader to "that visual France words can but feebly trace"--the magical interlude between the two world wars. There are only 32 color plates of Soutine's paintings, but the photographs, reminiscences, letters to and from the artist, and critical perspectives make for a richly satisfying book. --Peggy Moorman

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