Image: Portrait of Paulette Jourdain, 1919)
MODIGLIANI UNMASKED, is the first exhibition in the United states to focus on Modigliani's early works made in the years after he arrived in Paris. The exhibition on view at the Jewish Museum through February 4, 2018 puts a spotlight on Modigliani's drawings, with a large selection acquired directly from the artist by Dr. Paul Alexandre, a young physician, who became his close friend and first patron. Alexandre amassed some 450 drawings directly from the artist and commissioned a number of portraits.
The exhibition includes a selection of drawings depicting Dr. Alexandre, as well as a mysterious, unfinished portrait, never before seen in the United States. Prominent in the collection are the stylized drawings relates to sculptures. The influence of masks in particular is clearly visible in the many drawings and sculptures in the exhibition, which offers insights into Modigliani's signature style of graceful, elongated figures that were not well received during his lifetime. However, after his death he achieved greater popularity and his works of art achieved high prices. Seen within he scope of his brief fourteen-year career, his early work provides a context in which to reconsider what may have motivated Modigliani to develop his idiosyncratic
style of portraiture. He died of tubercular meningitis, life cut short at 35.
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