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Title: Chaim Soutine (1893-1943) : receptions, constructions and significance
Author: Hughes, Louise Elizabeth
ISNI:       0000 0004 2697 5199
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2010
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This thesis aims to examine the work and critical and popular reception of Parisian painter Chaim Soutine (1893-1943) in the contexts of four main readings: Soutine's interrogation of the visual traditions and iconographies of the past; his lifelong interest in the themes, forms and meanings of Christian visual culture; the implications of a series of artist-imposed 'frames' in relation to Soutine's more general practice of reframing existing motifs in his own compositions; and popular receptions of the artist and his work. These areas of focus represent new engagement with Soutine's art and depart from the dominant critical trends at work in Soutine studies to date. Critics have typically read Soutine's work within biographical, anecdotal or stylistic contexts, writing a highly individual-centred narrative of this artist's practice and oeuvre, which has established Soutine as a particular type of artist. Within that narrative he is cast in an expressionist persona and his work is a direct articulation of emotional intensity, even madness. Framing Soutine's art in this way fails to position it historically, culturally or artistically and also obscures more significant aspects of his production active throughout his career. The aspects of Soutine's art forming the focus of this thesis, listed above, run counter to traditional patterns of engagement by focusing on issues less concerned with (but which do not completely do away with) biography. Their study thus offers the opportunity for Soutine's art-historical repositioning. This task is now considerably overdue, a fact especially evident in the perpetuation of established critical trends in the most recent contributions to Soutine studies in 2008. This thesis presents a new view of Chaim Soutine and his art and suggests how he should be positioned in future art history - rather than an acerebral, inexperienced artist, new approaches to his work reveal Soutine as a targeted, purposeful painter, whose practice engages with and challenges some of art history's most enduring concerns.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available