Soutine / de Kooning
Conversations in Paint
Until August 8, 2021
A visual dialogue between the highly individual universes of two iconic artists.
About the Exhibition
“The season’s major art exhibition.” —The Philadelphia Inquirer
In its world premiere and only US showing, this groundbreaking exhibition explores the affinities between the work of Chaïm Soutine (1893–1943) and Willem de Kooning (1904–1997).
Soutine / de Kooning: Conversations in Paint, organized by the Barnes and the Musées d’Orsay et de l’Orangerie, Paris, presents nearly 45 works by these titans of 20th-century art. The exhibition, on view in the Roberts Gallery, considers how Soutine’s paintings, with their built-up surfaces and energetic brushwork, served the art of de Kooning, shaping his groundbreaking figurative/abstract works in the late 1940s and beyond.
Dr. Albert Barnes played a decisive role in the career of Soutine, having purchased dozens of the artist’s works on a single trip to Paris in 1922. A significant turning point in de Kooning’s work—evident in his celebrated series of Woman paintings in the 1950s—coincided with the Museum of Modern Art’s Soutine retrospective in 1950 and de Kooning’s visit to the Barnes Foundation in 1952. This exhibition, co-curated by Simonetta Fraquelli and Claire Bernardi, creates a visual dialogue between the highly individual universes of these two important figures.
Chaïm Soutine. The Communicant (The Bride), c. 1924. The Lewis Collection. Artwork © 2021 Artist Rights Society (ARS), NY. Image © 2015 Christie’s Images Limited
Willem de Kooning. Woman II, 1952. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Blanchette Hooker Rockefeller, 1955. Artwork © 2021 The Willem de Kooning Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Image © The Museum of Modern Art/Licensed by SCALA / Art Resource, New York
Soutine and de Kooning
Chaïm Soutine in Le Blanc, France, 1927
Image courtesy Klüver / Martin Archive
Chaïm Soutine. Landscape, c. 1922–24
Musée de l’Orangerie, Paris. Jean Walter and Paul Guillaume Collection. Artwork © 2021 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Image © Peter Willi / Bridgeman Images
Willem de Kooning with a state of Woman I, c. 1952
Photo by Kay Bell Reynal. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC. Artwork © 2021 The Willem de Kooning Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Willem de Kooning. Queen of Hearts, 1943–46
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC. Artwork © 2021 The Willem de Kooning Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Image by Lee Stalsworth, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
Soutine / de Kooning: Conversations in Paint
Copublished by the Barnes and Paul Holberton Publishing and edited by co-curators Simonetta Fraquelli and Claire Bernardi, this book features 120 lavish illustrations of the artists’ expressive works.
This exhibition is organized by the Barnes Foundation and the Musées d’Orsay et de l’Orangerie, Paris, and co-curated by Simonetta Fraquelli, consultant curator for the Barnes Foundation, and Claire Bernardi, chief curator of paintings at the Musée d’Orsay, Paris.
Additional support comes from the David Berg Foundation, Marsha and Jeffrey Perelman, Dietz & Watson, Robbi and Bruce Toll, Sueyun and Gene Locks, Michael Forman and Jennifer Rice, Annette Y. Friedland, and Jane and Leonard Korman Family.
Ongoing support for exhibitions comes from the Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Exhibition Fund, the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, and Aileen and Brian Roberts.
In addition, support for all exhibitions comes from contributors to the Barnes Foundation Exhibition Fund:
Joan Carter and John Aglialoro, Julia and David Fleischner, Leigh and John Middleton, Jeanette and Joe Neubauer
John Alchin and Hal Marryatt, Christine and Michael Angelakis, Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz, Lois and Julian Brodsky, N. Judith Broudy, Laura and Bill Buck, Elaine W. Camarda and A. Morris Williams, Jr., Eugene and Michelle Dubay, Penelope Harris, Christine and George Henisee, Jones & Wajahat Family, Lisa D. Kabnick and John H. McFadden, Marguerite Lenfest, Maribeth and Steven Lerner, Victoria McNeil Le Vine, Leslie Miller and Richard Worley Foundation, Hilarie and Mitchell Morgan, Kay and Michael Park, The Rittenhouse Hotel, Adele K. Schaeffer, Katie and Tony Schaeffer, Dr. and Mrs. Eugene E. Stark, Joan F. Thalheimer, Bruce and Robbi Toll, van Beuren Charitable Foundation, Kirsten White, Anonymous.
The exhibition catalogue is made possible with generous support provided by the Lois and Julian Brodsky Publications Fund.
This exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.
Curatorial Preview: Soutine / de Kooning
Wednesday, March 3, 4 – 5pm
Join exhibition co-curator Simonetta Fraquelli online for an enlightening introduction to the show.
PECO Free First Sunday Family Day
March 7, 2021
Enjoy free access to Soutine / de Kooning, as well as the Barnes collection.
Private Exhibition Tours
Friday–Monday, 10am, through August 8
See the visual relationship between two modern masters up close with a specially trained docent. This tour is a private one-hour experience for you and up to four guests.
Private Virtual Exhibition Tours
Through August 8
Tour the special exhibition from the safety of home.
Members-Only Online Tours: Soutine / de Kooning
Wednesdays, March 24–April 28, 2 – 3pm
Tuesdays, May 4 & 18, June 8 & 29, 10 – 11am
Members are invited to exclusive online tours of Soutine / de Kooning. See the show virtually with a specially trained docent.
Member Talk: Soutine, Rembrandt, and Chardin
Friday, March 26, 12 – 1pm
Barnes Art Team member Tamara Mason provides a closer look at two of Chaïm Soutine’s artistic influences.
Member Talk: de Kooning after Soutine: The Lushness of the Paint
Tuesday, April 20, 12 – 1pm
Art historian John Elderfield explores Willem de Kooning’s engagement with Chaïm Soutine and how it affected de Kooning’s artistic practice.
Abstract Expressionism: de Kooning to Mitchell
Thursdays, March 4–25, 1 – 3:10pm
Survey important artists and works from this American art movement.
A Jewish Perspective: Pissarro, Modigliani, Soutine & Pascin
Wednesdays, March 10–31, 2 – 4:10pm
These four painters were central to the avant-garde scene in early 20th-century Paris. How did their faith influence their outlook and artwork?
Willem de Kooning in Context
Tuesdays, April 6–27, 1 – 3:10pm
See how de Kooning shaped the iconic abstract expressionists of the New York School and continued to inspire subsequent generations.
Conservation Challenges: Abstract Expressionism
Thursdays, April 8–29, 6 – 8:10pm
The abstract expressionists experimented with unconventional materials and techniques—learn how their works are treated and preserved from professional conservators.
Soutine’s Technique: A Close Look
Wednesdays, May 5–26, 2 – 4:10pm
Focus on the artist's working methods in this course co-taught by an art historian and a conservator.
Soutine in the Barnes Collection
Thursdays, June 3–24, 2 – 4:10pm
Examine the paintings of Soutine while considering his influence on the abstract expressionist movement.