Chaim Soutine: Flesh

The Jewish Museum

Once I saw the village butcher slice the neck of a bird and drain the blood out of it. I wanted to cry out, but his joyful expression caught the sound in my throat… This cry, I always feel it there.

— Chaim Soutine

Chaim Soutine: Flesh was dedicated to the artist’s paintings of slaughtered animals. Unlike a Dutch still life painting that depicts the beauty and lushness of the meat (as food), Soutine’s expressive gestures of paint splatters reminds us of the aggressive nature of killing. The curator drew lines between the paintings and the anti-Semitic violence Soutine witnessed and experienced growing up. Soutine’s work is “imbued with suffering and anxiety.”

Inspired by the butcher shop within Soutine’s quote we worked with sign painter Jon Bocksel on hand drawn lettering inspired by turn of the century French storefronts. We also installed actual butcher paper as wallpaper, which, beyond the literal pun, ended up looking like leather wallpaper.

Exhibition Design: Solomonoff Architecture Studio


All installation photography by: Jason Mandella. Chaim Soutine: Flesh, May 4 – September 16, 2018, The Jewish Museum, NY