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Chaïm Soutine (13 January 1893 – 9 August 1943) was a Russian painter of Belarusian Jewish origin; He traveled young to France and created many landscapes, still-life's and portrait paintings in a very free gesture.

Quotes of Chaïm SoutineEdit

 
Soutine, 1919: 'Paysage aux toits Rouges', oil-painting
  • I never touched Cubism myself, you know, although I was attracted by it one time. When I was painting at Céret and at Cagnes [1919, and from 1923]. I yielded to its influence in spite of myself, and the results were not entirely banal. But then.. .Céret itself is anything but banal. There is so much foreshortening in the landscape that, for that very reason, a picture may seem to have been painted in some specific style [quote in 1927].
    • In: Life with the painters of La Ruche, Vorobëv Marevna, Macmillan, New York, 1972, p. 156
  • It is the first time in my life that I have not been able to do anything. I am in a bad state of mind and I am demoralized, and that influences me. I have only [made] seven canvases. I am sorry. I wanted to leave Cagnes, this landscape that I cannot endure. I even went for a few days to Cap Martin, where I thought of settling down. It displeased me. I had to rub out the canvases I started.. .I am in Cagnes again, against my will, where, instead of landscapes, I shall be forced to do some miserable still lifes. You will understand in what a state of indecision I am. Can't you suggest some place for me? Because, several times I have had the intention of returning to Paris. [quote in 1929].
    • In a letter to his Paris art-dealer w:Léopold Zborowski, 1923; as quoted in Soutine, Monrou Wheeler, Museum of modern art, New York, 1950; p. 61
  • Once I saw the village butcher [in his youth, in Russia] slice the neck of a bird and drain the blood out of it. I wanted to cry out, but his joyful expression caught the sound in my throat.. .This cry, I always feel it there. When, as a I drew a crude portrait of my professor, I tried to rid myself of this cry, but in vain. When I painted the beef carcass it was still this cry that I wanted to liberate. I have still not succeeded. [remark to his friend and biographer]
    • In: Soutine et son temps, Emile Szittya, La Bibliothèque des Arts, Paris, 1955, pp. 107-108; as quoted in Chaim Soutine, Catalogue Raisonné, eds. Maurice Tuchman, Esti Dunow, Klaus Perls, Benedikt Taschen Verlag, p. 16
  • You don't like my painting, you only want to help me. If you had given me one franc for my picture I would have taken it [when M. Castaing discovered his art for the very first time and offered him in advance 100 franc to make a new painting - circa 1917 – 1919]
    • As quoted in Soutine, Monrou Wheeler, Museum of modern art, New York, 1950; p. 37
  • You have no right to interfere with my art. Your wife is not your property. I need her, in order to finish my picture, I must have her! I will sue you! [the woman returned by persuasion of the Castaings who supported Soutine].
    • In: Life with the painters of La Ruche, Vorobëv Marevna, Macmillan, New York, 1972, p. 156.
    • reacting to the husband of his model a railway gate-keeper; his wife had to pose a second session for Soutine's painting 'The siesta', in 1934
  • ..My paintings are a heap of shit, but better than Modigliani, Marc Chagall, and Krémènge [a Russian companion painter]. Some day I will destroy my canvases, but they are too cowardly to do it.
    • In: Soutine et son temps, Emile Szittya, La Bibliothèque des Arts, Paris, 1955, pp. 107-108; as quoted in Chaim Soutine, Catalogue Raisonné, eds. Maurice Tuchman, Esti Dunow, Klaus Perls, Benedikt Taschen Verlag, pp. 38, 46-47
    • in fact Soutine destroyed more than hundreds of his paintings - many of them he painted in Ceret before 1930
  • Dear Mrs. Castaing, please come over after midday at 2 o'clock with a white dress without sleeves in order to pose. Because today I will not go to Mrs. Saxe. I am disgusted to do nothing at all.
    • In: Soutine, eds. Marcelling Castaing & Jean Leymairie, Silvana Editoriale d'Arte, Milano, 1963
  • I want to show Paris in the carcass of an ox.
    • In: Soutine, Alfred Werner, Harry Abrams, New York, 1985, p. 94; as quoted in Shocking Paris: Soutine, Chagall and the Outsiders of Montparnasse, by Stanley Meisler, Publisher: St. Martin's PressPublication, 2015, p. 218
  • Ah, the giant that is Rembrandt; he's God, he's God!
    • In: Diary of an art dealer, R. Gimpel, Farrar Strauss, New York, 1966, p. 437

Quotes about Chaïm SoutineEdit

  • There are some who believe that Soutine deforms his paintings just to deform. That is a grave error. He himself suffers in front of these formless canvases where his marvelous universal staggers like his own insides. At home, he lacerates his paintings in rage. At the dealers, he buys them back to take them away and destroy them.
    • Quote of w:Élie Faure, in Shocking Paris: Soutine, Chagall and the Outsiders of Montparnasse, by Stanley Meisler, Publisher: St. Martin's PressPublication, 2015, p. 98
  • Soutine painted rapidly. He nurtured his idea for several months and then, when ready, started the painting in fury. He worked with passion, with fever, in a trance, sometimes to the music of some Bach fugue that he played on a phonograph. Once he finished the painting, he was weak, depressed, wiped out.
    • Quote of w:Chana Orloff, in Soutine: The power and the fury of an eccentric genius, Stanley Meisler, published in 'Smithsonian Magazine', November 1988
  • He [Soutine] was one of the rare examples in our day.. ..a painter who could make his pigments breathe light. It is something which cannot be learned or acquired. It is a gift of God.
    • Quote of w:Jacques Lipchitz, in Soutine: The power and the fury of an eccentric genius, Stanley Meisler, published in 'Smithsonian Magazine', November 1988
  • I think I would choose Chaim Soutine.. .I've always been crazy about Soutine - all of his paintings. Maybe it's the lushness of the paint. He builds up a surface that looks like a material, like a substance. There's a kind of transfiguration, a certain fleshiness in his work.. .I remember when I first saw the Soutine’s in the Barnes Collection.. ..the Matisse's had a light of their own, but the Soutine's had a glow that came from within the paintings - it was another kind of light.
    • Quote of Willem de Kooning, in The impact of Chaim Soutine (1893-1943): de Kooning, Pollock, Dubuffet, Bacon, publisher: Hatje Cantz, Galerie Gmurzynska, Cologne (Köln), 2001.
    • De Kooning answers on the question who is his favourite artist, [probably, around 1977]

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