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In its world premiere and only US showing, this groundbreaking exhibition explores the affinities between the work of Chaïm Soutine (1893–1943) and Willem de Kooning (1904–1997).

Soutine / de Kooning: Conversations in Paint, organized by the Barnes and the Musées d’Orsay et de l’Orangerie, Paris, presents nearly 45 works by these titans of 20th-century art. The exhibition, on view in the Roberts Gallery, considers how Soutine’s paintings, with their built-up surfaces and energetic brushwork, served the art of de Kooning, shaping his groundbreaking figurative/abstract works in the late 1940s and beyond.

Dr. Albert Barnes played a decisive role in the career of Soutine, having purchased dozens of the artist’s works on a single trip to Paris in 1922. A significant turning point in de Kooning’s work—evident in his celebrated series of Woman paintings in the 1950s—coincided with the Museum of Modern Art’s Soutine retrospective in 1950 and de Kooning’s visit to the Barnes Foundation in 1952. This exhibition, co-curated by Simonetta Fraquelli and Claire Bernardi, creates a visual dialogue between the highly individual universes of these two important figures.

This exhibition is organized by the Barnes Foundation and the Musées d’Orsay et de l’Orangerie, Paris, and co-curated by Simonetta Fraquelli, consultant curator for the Barnes Foundation, and Claire Bernardi, chief curator of paintings at the Musée d’Orsay, Paris.

Barnes Foundation

2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway

Philadelphia, PA 19130, USA



Willem de Kooning. Woman II (detail), 1952. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Blanchette Hooker Rockefeller, 1955. Artwork © 2021

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