This ground-breaking volume offers a reappraisal of Paul Cézanne's achievement in the genre of still life. It examines his paintings within the context of his artistic development and professional self-fashioning, and probes the shifting scientific and critical discourses that shaped both his practice and the reception of his pictures.
A prolific artist who synthesized formal problems through a close study of objects, Cézanne's lifelong engagement with still life painting yielded what is arguably the single most innovative body of work in the genre of any artist in the Western canon. In their often radical coloring and skewed perspective-and abetted by his highly demonstrative paint application-Cézanne's still lifes unmoored objects and their meanings from conventional representation, effectively recasting the physical and perceptual relations between people and things. Apples, skulls or crockery now evoked more than merely abundance, vanity, or notions of the rustic, participating instead in a poetics of suggestiveness and allusion.
Ultimately, Cézanne set still life painting on a new course, one that completely altered its traditionally low position in the academic hierarchy of French painting and prefigured the later essays of masters from Pablo Picasso to Andy Warhol.
Treating over twenty of Cézanne's key still lifes borrowed from European and American museums and private collections, and featuring four essays by acclaimed Cézanne specialists in addition to a foreword by Philippe Cézanne, great grandson of the artist, this is a major contribution to our understanding of Cézanne's art.
Accompanies a major exhibition, at the following venues: The Barnes Foundation, PA, USA, June 22–September 22, 2014, travelling to the Art Gallery of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, November 1, 2014 – January 31, 2015. [Amazon.com]