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Saturday, January 14, 2012

Beauford and the Influence of Paul Cézanne

Beauford was quite interested in the modernist style of painting. He was particularly enamored of the works of Claude Monet, but also loved those of Paul Cézanne. His cityscape entitled Central Park, dated 1950, was described by art critic Mark Lane as being "like Van Gogh in brushing, but like Cézanne in fête-champêtre (garden party) spirit."

Central Park note card*

According to David Leeming (Beauford's sole biographer), Beauford was encouraged by his friend Stuart Davis to study the works of Cézanne, Gauguin, Matisse, Picasso, and Van Gogh. Leeming indicates that there is a "Cézanne-like distortion of forms and perspective" in the first of Beauford's Greene Street paintings that portrays a "below-the-surface reality," and that Beauford had been deeply influenced by European painting since the 1930s - 20+ years before moving to France. Leeming found the names of Cézanne and other artists such as Renoir and Modigliani written in Beauford's sketchbook journal of the 1940s.

The Musée du Luxembourg is currently hosting an exposition of Cézanne's works called Cézanne et Paris. It was organized in collaboration with the Petit Palais in Paris, and benefits from the loan of several paintings by the Musée d'Orsay. This expo presents an excellent opportunity to view the works of an artist that heavily influenced Beauford's style and palette. It runs until February 26, 2012.

Musée du Luxembourg
Open every day
9:00 AM to 10:00 PM Friday through Monday
10:00 AM to 8:00 PM Tuesday through Thursday

Full price: 12 euros
Reduced price: 7.50 euros
Family ticket (2 adults et 2 children from 13 to 25 years of age): 31.50 euros

*Pomegranate sells a folio of ten (10) note cards bearing images of two of Beauford's paintings: Washington Square and Central Park. Find them at http://www.pomegranate.com/0873.html.

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