“I’ve always been crazy about Soutine,” said Willem de Kooning. “All of his paintings.” The French-Russian painter Chaim Soutine moved to Paris as a young man, and became an important member of the School of Paris. He created expressive landscapes, portraits, and still lifes, bringing swaths of thick, vibrant paint to the canvas with vigor. Critics and curators, especially in America, proclaimed him a “prophet” and his work was widely exhibited. In 1950, the American-Dutch de Kooning visited New York’s Museum of Modern Art, where a Soutine retrospective was on display. The encounter made a lasting impression. De Kooning felt that Soutine’s style legitimized his own. In its only U.S. showing, this exhibition places the two masters side-by-side. —E.C.
The exhibition travels to the Musée d’Orsay, in Paris, where it will be on view from September 15, 2021, to January 10, 2022.