Chaïm SoutinePortrait of Madeleine Castaing© ADAGP, Paris 2012 © The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / image of the MMA
This retrospective is based on twenty-two of Soutine’s paintings from the Musée de l’Orangerie. These were brought together by art dealer Paul Guillaume who, on discovering in 1922 these “portraits in which reason and madness struggle and find a balance”, brought recognition to an artist whose Expressionist intensity and palette of heightened colours was unique in the Paris of the inter-war years.
We need to take a new look at this thoroughly original painter, who is difficult to comprehend and little understood in France, and go beyond the image of the tormented genius that has managed to overshadow his extraordinarily intense and unorthodox work, and look at his influence on artists at the end of the 20th century.
The exhibition will bring together those works by Soutine that passed through the hands of Paul Guillaume, and will include works by other artists. It is laid out both chronologically and thematically, reflecting Soutine’s practice of painting in series.
Marie-Paule Vial, director, Musée de l'Orangerie