MIAMI — Chaim Soutine (1893-1943) was somewhat of a super star to the Abstract Expressionists. His retrospective in 1950 at the Museum of Modern Art all but gave the artists of the New York School a license to practice. Jack Tworkov, whose Art News article reviewing the show, spoke of “[Soutine’s] completely impulsive use of pigment as a material, generally thick, slow-flowing and viscous, with a sensual attitude toward it, as if it were the primordial material, with deep and vibratory color.” Richard Armstrong called Tworkov’s review “one of the earliest attempts to characterize the emerging expressionism of the New York painter in light of other twentieth-century painting.”
Soutine’s expressionistic quality and gestural swirl of paint on canvas seem to celebrate the sheer physicality of the world and beyond. A viewer of Soutine’s work exclaimed that painter virtually threw dozens of paint brushes loaded with vivid color at the canvas, “flinging them like poisonous butterflies.”
With Soutine in mind, and the world’s best galleries around me, I culled a few great works by mostly American artists from the 1950s that have Soutine in mind. There is still a healthy market of top notch works on the market.
… and this rare painting by Ray Parker, the some what overlooked abstractionist (not the musician the performing artist and producer that wrote the theme song for Ghostbusters):
Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, who I once worked for, is one of the great champions of mid-century American art. You can’t miss the booth as it’s the only one with purple carpet (the gallery’s signature color). In their booth don’t miss out on these sculptures:
… and let’s not forget this work by Ibram Lassaw:
Rosenfeld is also exhibiting one of my favorite artists, Nancy Grossman, whose leather masks were recently featured at MoMA’s PS1, here is a gritty work that expands upon Soutine’s expressionist surfaces incorporating leather, fabric, metal, wood and fur:
One can always count on McKee Gallery to have a rare Philip Guston (1913-1980) or two (they have represented the artist for decades) and they certainly didn’t disappoint with these two works, one of which is fresh to the market from the Guston Estate:
Valerie Carberry Gallery is exhibiting two wonderful paintings by Judith Rothschild. Rothschild studied with Hans Hofmann and Karl Knaths, and she was a member and president of the American Abstract Artists, a member of the Jane Street Gallery and an editor of Leonardo Magazine. Deeply interested in the careers of fellow artists, Rothschild started her own foundation. She also has some lovely work.
In light of the current retrospective at MoMA, I thought I might get to see a number of works by Willem de Kooning. Coincidentally, de Kooning chose Chaim Soutine as his “favorite artist,” one whose paintings “had a glow that came from within.”
At Gagosian one will find one of the best examples of de Kooning, and certainly the largest, I could find on the floor:
Art Basel Miami Beach continues until December 4 at the Miami Beach Convention Center (Miami Beach, Florida).