Paul Cézanne

Paul Cézanne, The Card Players, ca. 1892–96, oil on canvas, 23 5/8 x 28 3/4".

BACK IN 1990, in an essay for the Oxford Art Journal, Griselda Pollock asked the question “What Can We Say About Cézanne These Days?” Her answers—regarding the contributions that could be made through socio-historical, psychoanalytic, and feminist interventions—were rather more generous than that given in the London Review of Books this past December by T. J. Clark. In the opening of his review of the Courtauld Gallery in London’s recent exhibition dedicated to the artist’s “Card Players” series, 1890–96, Clark flatly declared: “Cézanne . . . cannot be written about any more.” When the exhibition moved to New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art in February, Peter Schjeldahl, writing in the New Yorker, seconded Clark’s judgment. Referring to Picasso’s remark that “what forces our interest is Cézanne’s anxiety” (what Maurice Merleau-Ponty called “Cézanne’s doubt”), Schjeldahl

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