In Montmartre: Picasso, Matisse and the Birth of Modernist Art

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Other artists arrived in short order. Among them was Chaim Soutine, a Russian Jewish exile who became the leading Expressionist painter of his era. Meisler, a former Paris correspondent for The Los Angeles Times, happens to be a distant relation-by-marriage of Soutine. In other words, the book focuses on the significant number of Jewish painters in the School of Paris, a subject seldom mentioned in art history.

Scholars of the period tend to act as if the only religion that matters is the religion of modern art. Sonia Delaunay, who carried the spare forms and radiant geometry of abstract painting into textile design, was born Sarah Stern in Ukraine. Who was Chaim Soutine? He left behind almost no letters or photographs. His life story is riddled with gaps.

Picasso, Matisse and the Birth of Modernist Art

Born in a shtetl near the town of Minsk, the son of a tailor, Soutine arrived in Paris in , a reticent, socially awkward man of 20 with olive skin and black hair. He spoke no French. We tend to think he was jumpy, probably because his art looks jumpy. His years were marked by predictable poverty and obscurity, until the fairy-tale moment when the American collector Albert Barnes arrived in Paris on a shopping spree.


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It was — Americans were going abroad by the boatful. Soutine, who woke up to success overnight, had no interest in pushing his art into the realm of Cubist fragmentation. He was more interested in reaching back to the Expressionist tradition as exemplified by van Gogh, not that Soutine openly gave him credit.

Soutine, of course, was a member of the School of Paris, which today serves as an all-purpose moniker for most every kind of painting and sculpture produced in Paris before World War II. But it originally meant something else. But that view was not a popular one.

In Montmartre: Picasso, Matisse and the Birth of Modernist Art

One reads with disbelief about his vulgar invective against immigrant artists. A handful of artists were able to sail to America. Soutine, however, was less fortunate. His requests were declined.


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  5. So he stayed on in Paris during the German occupation, keeping his apartment on the Villa Seurat but sleeping elsewhere to elude the French police and the nightmare of deportation. Chapter 6. The Impact of van Gogh. Chapter 7. Poiret: Art and Design.

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      Modern Dance. New Directions. The Interior Life. Common section Home Common section In Montmartre. In Montmartre: Picasso, Matisse and the Birth of Modernist Art A lively and deeply researched group biography of the figures who transformed the world of art in bohemian Paris in the first decade of the twentieth century In Montmartre is a colorful history of the birth of Modernist art as it arose from one of the most astonishing collections of artistic talent ever assembled.

      In Montmartre: Picasso, Matisse and the Birth of Modernist Art by Sue Roe

      The Arrival of Picasso Chapter 2. In Montmartre Chapter 3. Models and Motifs Chapter 4. The Picture Sellers Chapter 5. Blue Notes Chapter 6. The Impact of van Gogh Chapter 7. Poiret: Art and Design Chapter 8.

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