Modigliani Unmasked


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Mason Klein; With an afterword by Richard Nathanson

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An illuminating study of Amedeo Modigliani’s early drawings and how they reflect the artist’s conception of identity

One of the great artists of the 20th century, Amedeo Modigliani (1884–1920) is celebrated for revolutionizing modern portraiture, particularly in his later paintings and sculpture. Modigliani Unmasked examines the artist’s rarely seen early works on paper, offering revelatory insights into his artistic sensibilities and concerns as he developed his signature style of graceful, elongated figures.

An Italian Sephardic Jew working in turn-of-the-century Paris, Modigliani embraced his status as an outsider, and his early drawings show a marked awareness of the role of ethnicity and race within society. Placing these drawings within the context of the artist’s larger oeuvre, Mason Klein reveals how Modigliani’s preoccupation with identity spurred the artist to reconceive the modern portrait, arguing that Modigliani ultimately came to think of identity as beyond national or cultural boundaries. Lavishly illustrated with the artist’s paintings and over one hundred drawings collected by Dr. Paul Alexandre, Modigliani’s close friend and first patron, this book provides an engaging and long overdue analysis of Modigliani’s early body of work on paper.

Published in association with the Jewish Museum, New York

Exhibition Schedule:

The Jewish Museum, New York
September 15, 2017 – February 4, 2018 

Mason Klein is a curator at the Jewish Museum, New York. Richard Nathanson is an independent art adviser and an expert on Impressionism and 20th-century art.


The Jewish Museum, New York
September 15, 2017 – February 4, 2018 

ISBN: 9780300225495
Publication Date: September 19, 2017
Publishing Partner: Published in association with the Jewish Museum, New York
172 pages, 8 x 11 3/4
165 color + 5 b/w illus.
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