André Masson's Innovations in Taste

André Masson, Portrait du poète Heinrich von Kleist, 1939. Oil on canvas, 21-5/8
André Masson, Portrait du poète Heinrich von Kleist, 1939. Oil on canvas, 21-5/8 x 15 inches © 2012 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris (courtesy Blain Di Donna)

David Carrier reviews the exhibition André Masson: The Mythology of Desire - Masterworks from 1925 to 1945 at Blain/Di Donna, New York, on view through June 15, 2012.

Carrier writes that "if some of Masson’s all-over figurative compositions lead towards Abstract Expressionism, his late 1930s works lead in a very different direction. They anticipate the neo-expressionist painting which made such an impact in New York during the 1980s. His Portrait du poète Heinrich von Kleist (1939) is a truly over-the-top anticipation of Julian Schnabel’s aggressively anti-aesthetic paintings of the 1980s."