Charles Kessler blogs about the exhibition Madame Cézanne at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, on view through March 15, 2015.
Kessler writes: "I don't think capturing [Madame Cézanne's] personality, or the personality of any other of his sitters for that matter, was Cézanne's concern, any more than capturing the personality of an apple or a landscape was... Furthermore, I disagree with the common description of Cézanne's art as composed of massive, rounded, solid forms... Instead of massive, rounded and solid, I perceive Cézanne's work as elusive, evanescent, and unstable... Cézanne's compositions are always a little off – slightly (and sometimes not so slightly) out of balance. They can be asymmetrical, elongated, broken up, tipsy, uncentered; and forms fluctuate back and forth between inhabiting three-dimensional space and lying flat on the surface. This is what gives Cézanne's art energy and dynamism, and its expressive, if often disconcerting, power."