The Easel

5th October 2021

French and Russian Art on a ‘War and Peace’ Scale

Late Tsarist Russia spawned two great modern art collections. The Shchukin Collection was shown in Paris in 2016. Now the Morozov Collection is on show, also in Paris, the first time it has left Russia. No superlative seems too grand. Bonnard’s landscapes are a “showstopper”, the Gauguin’s are of “staggeringly high quality” and there are “incredible helpings of Cézanne, Monet and Matisse”. A “stupefying” exhibition, one that is “legitimately historic”. Images are here.

Noguchi

Noguchi would have disliked being described as ‘designer and artist’. For him, his tables, lights and sculptures were not fashion items but a reflection of the human activity associated those objects. Well, at least one critic doesn’t see Noguchi’s modernist designs as art, either. They have “no punch … no emotional or psychic energy, just … harmless creations”. Responds another “just because something is simple, modest and popular does not mean it is not art.”