Amedeo Modigliani 1884-1920 BACK

pastel and watercolour 53x44cm
Musee d Art Moderne, Paris

It should be said that by 1910 or 1911, when the Caryatid was painted, the decomposition (or 'shattering') of objects for the sake of new formal structures was no longer part of the Cubists' programme; their eye was already much more on the autonomous rhythm of the pictorial components, in which the objective motif ended by being almost entirely absorbed. In this sense, Modigliani's approach was not only distanced from theirs but retarded-closer, in fact, to the early Cubism of 1908 than to that of the period around 1910 or 1911. This 'retardation' is a plain fact to anyone aware of the historical dynamics involved, but it has no bearing on any assessment of artistic stature. No artist is under any obligation to keep up with history.

excerpt from Modigliani by Werner Schalenbach

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