Author(s): Carol Armstrong
A transformative study, freeing the artist from outdated art historical narratives and revealing his work as newly strange again
C zanne's Gravity is an ambitious reassessment of the paintings of Paul C zanne (1839-1906). Whereas previous studies have often looked at the artist's work for its influence on his successors and on the development of abstraction, Carol Armstrong untethers it from this timeline, examining C zanne's painting as a phenomenological and intellectual endeavor. Armstrong uses an interdisciplinary approach to analyze C zanne's work, pairing the painter with artists and thinkers who came after him, including Roger Fry, Virginia Woolf, Albert Einstein, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Rainer Maria Rilke, R. D. Laing, and Helen Frankenthaler. Through these pairings, Armstrong addresses diverse subjects that illuminate C zanne's painting, from the nonlinear narratives of modernist literature and the ways in which space and time act on objects, to color sensation and the schizophrenic mind. C zanne's Gravity attends to both the physicality of the artist's works and the weight they bear on the history of art. This distinctive study not only invites its readers to view C zanne's paintings with fresh eyes but also offers a new methodology for art historical inquiry outside linear narratives, one truly fitting for our time.