363
363

PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION, LOS ANGELES

Françoise Gilot
ÉTUDE BLEUE
Estimate
150,000250,000
LOT SOLD. 695,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT
363

PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION, LOS ANGELES

Françoise Gilot
ÉTUDE BLEUE
Estimate
150,000250,000
LOT SOLD. 695,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale

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Françoise Gilot
B.1921
ÉTUDE BLEUE
Signed F. Gilot (lower right); titled and dated Juillet 53 (on the reverse)

Oil on board
57 7/8 by 45 3/8 in.
147 by 115.2 cm
Painted in July 1953.
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The authenticity of this work has been confirmed by Françoise Gilot and it is registered in the artist's archives.

Provenance

Galerie Louise Leiris, Paris
Françoice Gilot, Paris & New York
Private Collection, La Jolla (acquired from the artist via Mel Yoakum)
Acquired from the above

Literature

Françoise Gilot, Françoise Gilot, Monograph 1940-2000, Lausanne, 2000, illustrated in color pp. 14 & 16

Catalogue Note

Gilot’s mesmerizing self-portrait, Étude bleue, dates from 1953, a pivotal year in both the artist’s life and career. Painted shortly after her first ever one-woman exhibition, held at Galerie Louise Leiris in 1952, and only a few months before she left Picasso for good, this confident self-portrait is an evocative expression of Gilot’s burgeoning autonomy.

In 1949 Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler had offered Gilot a contract to become her exclusive dealer—she would be one of only two women artists ever under contract with Kahnweiler during his entire influential career as a dealer—and in 1952 she received even further encouragement with subsidiary contracts from both the Curt Valentin Gallery in New York and the Leicester Gallery in London. This afforded her a measure of independence and occasioned an important increase in the scale and ambition of her paintings typified by the virtuoso handling of line and color which characterizes the present work.

For Gilot, the act of painting a self-portrait was first and foremost a vehicle for experimentation with color and mood. In Étude Bleue, the informal, comfortable pose and serene atmosphere is intensified by a bold clash of complementary colors. Gilot recalled that the entire composition was organized around the juxtaposition of deep blue and bright orange: “The cerulean costume sets the climate and it is the arms and the face that glow with an orange brilliancy” (Françoise Gilot, Françoise Gilot, Monograph 1940-2000, Lausanne, 2000, p. 14). Picasso had introduced Gilot to Henri Matisse early on in their courtship and the two experienced an almost instantaneous complicity. Gilot’s powerful manipulation of color in the present work is a veritable homage to the man whom she considered the maestro of light and color. She would often quote Matisse’s conviction that “color is the result of a condensed sensation, therefore it is intuitive and passionate.”

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