Lot 56
  • 56

Robert Colquhoun

25,000 - 35,000 GBP
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  • Robert Colquhoun
  • Woman with Cat
  • signed

  • oil on canvas
  • 51 by 40.5cm., 20 by 16in.


Clive Barker, from whom acquired by the present owner

Catalogue Note

Painted circa 1945, the present work is closely related to some of Colquhoun's most celebrated oils such as Woman with Leaping Cat (coll. Tate Gallery, 1945), Woman with Birdcage (coll. Bradford Art Gallery, 1946) and Two Scotswomen (coll. Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1946). Female figures, either alone or in pairs, were frequent motifs for Colquhoun between 1943 and 1946, motifs which he used and re-used as vehicles for conveying the themes of poverty, old age and a 'resignation to the human condition'.

Though his debt to Picasso is frequently cited, Colquhoun's confident use of the post-cubist idiom during this period displayed a remarkable understanding of the continental avant-garde at a time when British artists had been almost entirely isolated from the rest of Europe by the Second World War. This idiom perfectly suited the artist's recurring theme of the isolated, often agonised figure which held such poignancy to the contemporary audience in the aftermath of the Second World War. Frequent exhibitions at the Lefevre Gallery between 1943 and 1950 brought Colquhoun considerable fame, with the 1947 show being remembered as the highpoint of a career which was nevertheless to end - with life imitating art - in relative obscurity