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Chaim Soutine

ChaimSoutine.jpg

Chaim Soutine | France 1893-1943 | L'homme aux rubans (Man with ribbons) 1921-22 | Oil on canvas | 81.3 x 61.7cm | Purchased 1988 with funds from the 1988 International Exhibitions Program | Collection: Queensland Art Gallery

Chaim Soutine, 'L'homme aux rubans (Man with ribbons)', 1921-22

Chaim Soutine
France  1893-1943
L'homme aux rubans (Man with ribbons) 1921-22
Oil on canvas
81.3 x 61.7cm
Purchased 1988 with funds from the 1988 International Exhibitions Program
Collection: Queensland Art Gallery

Chaim Soutine

L'homme aux rubans (Man with ribbons) 1921-22

Born in Russia, Chaim Soutine was brought up in a Lithuanian Jewish ghetto. Here he encountered community opposition for his propensity for drawing images that contravened Talmudic law (a system of Jewish law from the early centuries of the Christian era). He travelled to Paris in 1913, and became acquainted with Marc Chagall, Jacque Lipchitz and Amadeo Modigliani.

Soutine produced highly original paintings driven by an intensely personal and tormented vision. As a painter, Soutine insisted on painting from a live model. For example, he hung carcasses of cows and other dead animals in his studio in order to directly experience the visceral colour of putrefying flesh.

His work had a profound influence on Abstract Expressionists in New York, including Willem de Kooning, and on the European CoBrA group (the group's name is derived from the artists' home cities: Copenhagen, Brussels, and Amsterdam).

L'homme aux rubans (Man with ribbons) 1921-22 is an insight into the sitter's psyche rather than a depiction of his physical characteristics. The rhythmically flowing lines, distorted angles of the body and use of raw colour are characteristic of Soutine's highly expressive and emotive artistic vocabulary. It is also typical of Soutine's choice of sitters, who tended not to be significant historical or cultural figures, but rather bellboys, waiters or peasants.