2 Octobre 2023
Amedeo Modigliani. A painter and his dealer
A lecture on the exhibition at the Orangerie, Paris
(09/20/23 – 01/15/24)
with Chris Boïcos
When he arrived in Paris in 1906, Modigliani, a Jewish artist of Italian origin, was a painter. His meeting in 1909 with Constantin Brancusi, a sculptor of Romanian origin, acted as a revelation: he took up sculpture, to which he devoted himself almost exclusively until 1914. But then from 1914 to his death in 1920, he returned to painting and produced numerous paintings devoted mainly to solitary human figures. The discipline of painting was central to the relationship between the artist and his dealer, Paul Guillaume. Guillaume encouraged him, paid for his studio in Montmartre, and made Modigliani’s paintings known in Parisian literary and artistic circles.
It would have been through the poet Max Jacob, Picasso’s close friend, that the 23-year old Paul Guillaume discovered Modigliani. Modigliani immortalized the gallery owner in a series of painted and drawn portraits that have remained famous: he completed no fewer than four of these between 1915 and 1916. They were both fascinated by African art and were equally sensitive to literature and poetry.
Through a selection of iconic works, the exhibition explores the intimate links between painter and dealer within the Parisian artistic and literary context of the 1910s, as well as Paul Guillaume’s role in the dissemination of Modigliani’s work in the art market of the 1920s, both in France and in the United States.
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