Lot 49
  • 49

Francis Newton Souza (1924-2002)

30,000 - 50,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Francis Newton Souza
  • Untitled (Head)
  • Oil on board
  • 22 1/2 by 14 1/2 in. (57.2 by 36.8 cm)
  • Painted in 1965


Gifted by the artist to Peter Townsend in 1965
Bonham's London, 13 October 2005, lot 289

Catalogue Note

In the mid 1960's, Souza experimented with his highly expressionistic and gestural brushstroke to produce a small body of 'black paintings' which are notable for their textured surfaces and that are in a wider sense almost like sculptural images in bas relief. From influences as diverse as Francisco de Goya's Pinturas Negras series and Yves Klein's monochromatic paintings and sculptures, the latter of whom worked with Souza's Parisian gallery Iris Clert, Souza created one of his most sublime series of works. This 'black on black' series culminated into his 1966 solo exhibition at the Grosvenor Gallery in London, Souza: Black Art & Other Paintings. The seemingly monochromatic works have a build-up and layering of pigments that create subtle tonality in these paintings which while difficult to notice in reproduction, in reality and in variegated lighting conditions, demonstrate Souza's stunning mastery of line along with the emotional brute force with which he approaches his canvasses.