New York

Amedeo Modigliani

The Jewish Museum

After decades of revisionist art history, with its accompanying tendency to downplay the significance of biography, it’s hard to believe that the oeuvre of Amedeo Modigliani remains colored by accounts of personal tragedy. Perhaps the most famous of the Montparnasse peintres maudits, Modigliani’s life story is familiar enough: Impoverished, itinerant, tubercular but handsome, the artist was frequently under the influence of alcohol and drugs, sketched café clients for money, and died at the age of thirty-five (an event immediately followed by the suicide of his pregnant girlfriend and last muse, Jeanne Hébuterne). All this is true, but reveals little about the art or even the man. This retrospective, curated by Mason Klein, aimed to steer us away from the debauched vie de boheme and back toward Modigliani’s art.

In order to do this, the pointedly titled “Modigliani: Beyond the Myth” needed

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. Please sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW and save up to 65% off the newsstand price for full online access to this issue and our archive.

Order the PRINT EDITION of the November 2004 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.