Claim Soutine:distorted the pictures but not the people

Their must be some similarities between Soutine and my work. Before looking at his paintings, one classmate ever told me that my work reminds him of Soutine’s work. Yet in fact Soutine’s work is indeed the type of painting I appreciate.


Soutine’s show at The Courtauld gallery is the most comfortable exhibition I’ve seen since the start of MA course.   His work is pure, just is the naturalist depiction of normal waiters without any complex


People in his paintings are constrain
ed by rectangular frames, which in my view enhanced the expression of the hard situation of the most ordinary servers.  While looking at figures in his paintings, I found I seemingly could feel their current emotion, I seemingly was listening their encounters as waiters.

No doubt Sountine used exaggerated way of portraying people, while I think it is this distortion of facial expression and posture that enlarged the inside world of each figures, as the artist Willem de Kooning memorably said: “Soutine distorted the pictures but not the people.”


Some as an artist, for me the most important thing for a good painting is not what the artist say about the work, but what can the painting itself say to audiences. I saw this point within Soutine’s work.





Ziyin Guan



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