Friday, May 29, 2009

Cézanne and Beyond

The well reviewed exhibition Cézanne and Beyond at the Philadelphia Museum of Art closes this weekend. Throughout his life, Meyer Schapiro would write about Cézanne as a man who exemplified the artistic struggle--a struggle that defined the inner pathos of man and his quest to represent that personal journey itself. In a 1959 essay "Cézanne," Schapiro writes:

Cézanne's masterliness includes, besides the control of the canvas in its complexity and novelty, the ordering of his own life an an artist. His art has a unique quality of ripeness and continuous growth. While concentrating on his own problems-problems he had set himself and not taken from a school or leader-he was capable of an astonishing variety. This variety rests on the openness of his sensitive spirit. He admitted to the canvas a great span of perception and mood, greater than that of his Impressionist friends.

Another artist close to Schapiro's reading on Cézanne is Vincent van Gogh. Schapiro's well known rebuttal to Martin Heidegger about van Gogh's boots strikes a similar tone in juxtaposing the artist and his art work with his very own lived experience.

For more information on the Philadelphia exhibit, click here.


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