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The Artist Who Inspired the Others: See Chaïm Soutine at Louisiana

He inspired some of the world's greatest artists, such as Francis Bacon and Jackson Pollock. And without him, abstract expressionism might not have existed. Experience the artist who was a crucial inspiration for the greatest painters of the 20th century at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art: Chaïm Soutine.

Distorted Landscapes and Vibrant Colours

When you look at Chaïm Soutine's paintings, it's like seeing the world in dissolution, as if it's submerged underwater and slowly swaying away. Houses sway, cities spin around, faces distort as if one is experiencing a dizzy spell.

The colours are vivid, intense, and insistent. Brushstrokes seem quick, almost manic, and you get the feeling that the paintings are not stationary, that the subjects move across the canvas; cities with white, Mediterranean houses, men and women staring, still lifes of fish, flowers, and meat.

Experience the exhibition with Chaïm Soutine at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art

A Crucial Source of Inspiration

The exhibition with Chaim Soutine at the Louisiana Museum is the first of its kind in Northern Europe. The artist is not widely known to the general public, despite having a decisive influence on some of the greatest painters in history.

Both living and deceased artists have been inspired by Soutine as an artistic role model. Examples include Willem de Kooning, Francis Bacon, Jackson Pollock, Alice Neel, Georg Baselitz, Jean Dubuffet, Dana Schutz, and Cecily Brown.

Abstract expressionism with its spontaneous and subconscious approach to art, as well as the London School with its figurative interest, can also thank Chaïm Soutine for being a significant source of inspiration. Without him, it's hard to say whether these artistic directions would look as they do today.

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Who was Chaïm Soutine?

It's challenging to portray Chaïm Soutine's life as he largely kept to himself. He didn't write a diary, had few friends, and left only a few letters and notes.

However, it is known that he was born as a Jew in Belarus in 1893, attended art school in Vilnius, and spent most of his adult life in the art capital, Paris. He lived in poverty and moved around a lot. At one point, he experienced career success when an American collector bought a large portion of his paintings.

In the last years of his life, Chaïm Soutine lived on the run from the Nazis who occupied Paris in 1940. He died in 1943, at the age of 50, from an untreated stomach ulcer but left a significant impression on artists worldwide.