Curators: Suria Sadekova, Batsheva Goldman-Ida, PhD, Yaniv Shapira
November 9, 2019 through March 21, 2020
The exhibition “Naked Soul: Chaïm Soutine and Israeli Art” is centered on the work of Chaïm Soutine, one of the most prominent and influential artists active in the first half of the 20th century. Soutine settled down in Paris between the two world wars. Amedeo Modigliani became his close friend, and his social circle included Pablo Picasso, Max Jacob, Jean Cocteau, and Chana Orloff. Soutine, however, was unusual in his artistic quests, and his work cannot be ascribed to any movement or even group active in the French capital at the time. He drew his inspiration mainly from the Old Masters, and every painting he created—whether landscape, portrait, or still life—was concurrently perceived as a contemplation of life and death.
Soutine’s originality and his unique painterly language have made him a “painter’s painter,” a source of inspiration and a model to emulate for many artists in the following generations, who perceived his work as a paradigm of artistic commitment. The exhibition focuses on Soutine’s lasting impact, as shown in the works of three generations of Israeli art, with special emphasis on the paintings by Chaim Atar, the founder of Mishkan Museum of Art, Ein Harod. The participating artists represent a range of emotive values inspired by Soutine’s oeuvre. Some find inspiration in his themes—the portraits, landscapes, still life, slaughtered and dead animals; others are drawn to the materiality of the paint, the bold color applications and expressiveness; for others it is the bursting energy and gestural painting. Still, one may generalize by saying that the majority of the works selected for this show echo the “Soutine quality,” whose essence is vulnerability, anxiety, and a “naked soul.”
For the first time in fifty years, a body of works by Soutine is presented to the Israeli public, shedding new light on the relevance of his work to Israeli art, here and now.
This exhibition was made possible through the generous support of:
Andrea Wine and Gershon Silbert Israel, Wendy and Harry Kantor USA, Tsila and Giora Yaron Israel, Anonymous in honor of Monique Birenbaum USA, Arkin Foundation Israel, The Herschmann Family USA, CBH Compagnie Bancaire Helvétique SA, Outset Contemporary Art Fund. RAMON–GRANIT / TOREN Marine Insurance Agents
The PR for this exhibition is sponsored by “Galai Communication”