Soutine / De Kooning, Musée de l'Orangerie
From October 7, 2020 to February 1, 2021

The Musée de l’Orangerie is putting on an exhibition that presents the works of Chaïm Soutine (1893–1943), a Russian painter of the School of Paris, originally from today’s Belarus, in dialogue with Willem de Kooning (1904-1997), the American Abstract Expressionist originally from Holland.


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From 7 October 2020 to 1st February 2021

The Musée de l’Orangerie is putting on an exhibition that presents the works of Chaïm Soutine (1893–1943), a Russian painter of the School of Paris, originally from today’s Belarus, in dialogue with Willem de Kooning (1904-1997), the American Abstract Expressionist originally from Holland.

More specifically, this exhibition will aim to explore the impact of Soutine’s painting on the pictorial vision of the great American painter. The exhibition will feature a dialogue between the distinctive worlds of these two artists through around fifty works based on major themes: tension between figures and shapelessness, fleshiness in painting, and the ""gestural"" painting style of both artists.
These thematic sections will be interspersed with key historical moments, including the MoMA’s 1950 Soutine retrospective and de Kooning’s visit to the Barnes Foundation in 1952.Indeed, Soutine was an influence on the post-war generation of painters through his paintings’ expressive force and his legend as a ""cursed artist"" with the vicissitudes and excesses of a Parisian bohemian. His work was especially promoted in the United States from the 1930s to the 1950s, a time when the figurative artist of the European tradition was being reinterpreted in the light of new artistic theories. The gestural painting and thick impasto of Soutine’s canvases led critics and exhibition curators to proclaim him as a ""prophet"", the herald of American Abstract Expressionism.