Montparnasse Revisited: Soutine the Obsessed
In the years before World War I, no country contributed more artists to Montparnasse than Russia. Perhaps as enticing as artistic camaraderie or fame, Montparnasse offered an abundance of food. For Chaim Soutine, born near Minsk, the image of food overflowing in Paris' markets and restaurants engraved itself on his soul and art. Soutine the Obsessed studies his paintings of herring and bloody oxen, along with his intriguing, anguished character studies. Throughout his work, bold strokes and color dominate, and ugliness and touching beauty coexist. Through interviews with Soutine's fellow Russian painters, friends, and patrons, we learn about Soutine's extreme poverty, his kinship with the charismatic Modigliani, and the brutal self-criticism that drove him to tear up finished canvases.