Roberta Smith remarks that by a certain point in the show “it becomes clear why [Félix] Vallotton is not considered a first-rate painter. Perhaps he was excessively skilled with too many options at his fingertips.”
It struck me as a wry dilemma to have to cope with excessive skill, but perhaps I divine her point. She describes the Swiss painter and printmaker as “an intriguing, talented but slippery artist.”
[The exhibition] reintroduces an artist who achieved early greatness in the relatively modest medium of prints and then either failed or declined to follow a single path in painting.
(Roberta Smith, “When He Was Good, He Was Breathtaking,” NYTimes, 1-6-20)
Side note: A substantial part of this article describes paintings that are not shown. It teases the reader and makes him wish the gorgeous verbiage were illustrated by its subject.
(c) 2020 JMN