If These Apples Should Fall: Cézanne and the Present

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If These Apples Should Fall: Cézanne and the Present

If These Apples Should Fall: Cézanne and the Present

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Clark teases both conditions in a book that runs something of an oblique victory lap around European modern art’s most bountiful reserve of interpretation. Indeed, Cézanne’s early works drew on paintings of Delacroix and Poussin, and novels of Flaubert and Zola. There is a Cézanne who cannot be captured by “‘history,’ ‘ideology,’ and ‘production,’” but he might not be the Cézanne of our present. In Clark’s hands, Cézanne’s practice is at once singular and a paradigm for an art history that lets in the world only when it needs to. Across the book’s five chapters – on Cézanne’s apprenticeship to Pissarro, his still lifes, his landscapes, the ‘card players’ paintings, and the legacy of his work in a canvas by Matisse – Clark errs on the side of modernity’s failure.

An art historian like Kenneth Clark cannot be under-estimated in his unerring judgement and apt economy of statement. Together with artworks of Gauguin and Van Gogh, his work featured in Manet and the Post-Impressionists, the show organised by Fry at London’s Grafton Galleries in 1910.J. Clark looks back on Cézanne from a moment – our own – when such judgments may seem to need justifying.

You can change your choices at any time by visiting Cookie preferences, as described in the Cookie notice. Clark addresses this strangeness head-on, and examines the art of Pissarro, Matisse and others in relation to it; above all, he speaks to the uncanniness and beauty of Cézanne’s achievement. Such concentrated focus could be said to honor what the artist did and wanted, but this tact risks privatizing interpretation, hemming the work in to the lines and shapes of individual perception. J. Clark, reviewing a show of Paul Cézanne’s Card Players series (from the early 1890s), announced that the French painter ‘cannot be written about any more’. Yet his interest in impressionism, the antithesis of academic painting, and his friendship with Pissarro would be a decisive influence on his later works.The effect of his landscape painting is beautifully described by Clark in Hillside in Provence, inspired by a visit to the French 19th-century room at London’s National Gallery: “How this other world takes place in us, and why we fear it, / Is Cézanne’s subject. The first chapter, adapted from an exhibition review, tracks the frictions and sympathies during Cézanne and Pissarro’s studies together. My advice is when reading the book to skip any bits where you get stuck (at least at a first reading) but to look carefully at the comparisons he makes between different works (almost everything he refers to is illustrated in colour).

Few passages are as alive in Clark’s oeuvre, after all, as his discussions of Haussmannized quartiers in Manet’s Paris or of War Communism in Malevich’s Vitebsk. If a painter such as van Gogh promises feeling in art above all, Cézanne always beckons with the allure of form.

will be constantly, vitally, discontentedly present in the writing we do, as the reality our writing moves toward and always misses. Matisse in the Garden” concentrates on the younger painter but follows Cézanne as the groundwater under the quondam Fauve’s pleasure-bound botanical scenes. Neon lights will be delivered in 2-4 weeks, as they are made in small batches and shipped separately from other items.

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