University of California Press title Cezanne’s Other: The Portraits of Hortense, by Susan Sidlauskas, has received the Robert Motherwell Book Award from the Dedalus Foundation, which promotes understanding of modern art and Modernism.
The award, which includes a prize of $20,000 for the winning author, goes to publications that demonstrate superb scholarship in the history and criticism of modernism in the arts.
In Cezanne’s Other, Sidlauskas explores Cezanne’s twenty-four oil portraits of his wife Hortense—a portion of Cezanne’s work often ignored. Sidlauskas focuses on these paintings as a group, looking particularly at the differences that render many of them unrecognizable as the same person.
“Sidlauskas firmly sets her reading of these portraits within the aesthetic, intellectual and psychological contexts of the period in which they were created, and in doing so provides a new frame of reference for understanding the radical nature of Cezanne’s attention to pictorial structure and painterly surface,” foundation representatives wrote in a press release.
The award’s namesake, the abstract expressionist painter Robert Motherwell, founded the Dedalus Foundation. Motherwell’s contemporaries included Jackson Pollock and Philip Guston and he christened his peer group of artists the “New York School.”
Sidlauskas is Associate Professor and Graduate Director of the Department of Art History at Rutgers University. She is the author of “Body, Place, and Self in Nineteenth-Century Painting” and coauthor of “Skin + Bones: Parallel Practices in Fashion and Architecture”.