With the comprehensive solo exhibition "Against the Current", at K20 the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen presents the early work of Chaim Soutine (1893-1943), who is one of the lesser-known but no less important representatives of modern art.
Born and raised near Minsk, after studying art in Vilnius Soutine moved to Paris in 1913, where he led a life on the edge of existence as a Jewish immigrant. These circumstances are mirrored in his paintings, as are social grievances and the hardships of the First World War. Soutine's protagonists are mainly people of the lower class, including chambermaids, bellhops or cooks. Slaughtered animals, distorted landscapes and city views, which are also among his subjects, reveal a gloomy attitude to life that characterises the prevailing zeitgeist. A friend of Amedeo Modigliani, Soutine developed - detached from the tendencies of his contemporaries - his very own visual language, which captures the artist's innermost being in its expressiveness, vehement brushwork and distinctive form vocabulary.
In cooperation with the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk, and the Kunstmuseum Bern, the exhibition shows around 60 paintings and focuses on the works Soutine created between 1918 and 1928.