Half-side of a Beef

About Chaim Soutine

Chaim Soutine’s style of painting bridged more traditional approaches with the developing form of Abstract Expressionism, concentrating on shape, color, and texture over representation. Ultimately, he is known for zealous landscapes of the Midi (southern France), characterized by an enchanting, fairy-tale like quality that pervades his almost-kinetic swathes of color. A friend of Amedeo Modigliani, Soutine also painted portraits and still lifes with stylistic and compositional allusions to painters he befriended and/or admired, including Modigliani, Henri Matisse, Paul Cézanne, Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin, Francisco Goya, and Rembrandt. In his portraiture, female subjects in particular convey considerable personality with their awkward poses rendered in expressive, semi-abstract brushwork. Because of the hunger he faced growing up in a Lithuanian Jewish ghetto, the centrality of food and Jewish ritual are prominent in much of Soutine’s earlier work.

Russian, 1893-1943, Smilovitchi, Belarus