Diego Rivera (1886-1957)
- Diego Rivera
- Naturaleza muerta con limones
- signed and dated Paris 1916 on the reverse
- oil on canvas
Estate of Emile Delobre, Alforteville (1964)
Newton McMahan, New York (1964)
Lerner-Heller, Gallery New York (1974)
Private Collection, Caracas
Sale: Sotheby's, New York, Latin American Art, November 20, 2000, lot 28, illustrated in color
New York Private Collector
In Spain, Rivera began abstracting in geometric volumes the accidental topography around the City of Toledo, and, under the influence of the mannerist style of El Greco, Rivera devoted himself to Cubism in 1913. His cubism did not derive from Picasso or Braque, it was the result of his own plastic conclusions in the quest for a fourth dimension in painting. His multiple formal proposals were well greeted by critics like Guillaume Apollinaire, André Salmon and Ramón Gómez de la Serna, aesthetes of the Cubist movement. As a result, he was granted a well-deserved contract with the marchand d’art Léonce Rosenberg and several exhibitions in the gallery directed by Marius de Zayas in New York. Thus, Rivera’s cubism reached an international importance in 1916. Rivera’s cubist experiments between 1916 and 1917 are marked by a real desire to find a new classic order, developing a more aesthetic and therefore more pure cubism, which some critics like Maurice Raynal called “Crystal Cubism” for its lack of decorative elements.
In the present Still Life, signed and dated on the reverse, Rivera explores a centripetal composition, in which the objects represented within turn in the space creating fields of color on positive and negative backgrounds, making the fruit basket, the lemons and even a slice of Brie cheese, look as if they were suspended in a vortex of time, in the conjunction of a new plastic dimension.
Rivera was fascinated by the possibilities of the construction of the composition provided by the behavior of color and by the perception of the painting as a mathematical exercise. The following year, he began a journey with no return as a cubist artist as he explored the oeuvre of Paul Cézanne, and the theoretical movement of the painters called Les Constructeurs.
Professor Luis-Martín Lozano, March 2014