- Yves Tanguy
- Le Prodigue ne revient jamais III
- Signed Yves Tanguy (lower right)
- Oil on canvas
Mr. & Mrs. Jerome L. Stern, Westhampton, New York
Richard L. Feigen, New York
Mr. & Mrs. Leonard Yaseen, New York (acquired from the above and sold: Sotheby's, New York, November 6, 1991, lot 42)
Private Collection, New York (acquired at the above sale and sold: Sotheby's, New York, November 8, 1994, lot 30)
Jan Krugier Gallery, New York (acquired at the above sale)
Acquired from the above by the present owner
New York, Acquavella Galleries, Yves Tanguy, 1974, no. 30, illustrated in color in the catalogue
Purchase, New York, Neuberger Museum, Selections from the Yaseen Family Collection, 1983-84, n.n.
Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Montreal, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts & Berlin, Neue Nationalgalerie, Exiles + emigrés, The Flight of European Artists from Hitler, 1997-98, no. 135, illustrated in color in the catalogue
Patrick Waldberg, Yves Tanguy, Brussels, 1977, illustrated p. 260
Discussing the artist’s creative process, James Thrall Soby writes: “Tanguy was an artist who never tormented his inspiration. A slow, meticulous craftsman, working in an impeccable studio, he painted only when the spirit moved him – that steadfast, rare, creative spirit which remains a heartening phenomenon in the art of our time.… Once he had found his direction – and he found it with startling abruptness – he followed it with devotion and purity” (J. T. Soby in Yves Tanguy (exhibition catalogue), The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1955, p. 9). However, that is not to say that Tanguy did not seek to develop his style. The curious sense of space and atmosphere he imbued in his work was by the 1940s being tested. Previously, his compositions tended to be arranged with all the forms in proportion with each other and the overall size of the canvas. Exquisite forms would appear delicate but distanced. In Le Prodigue ne revient jamais III, the elements in the foreground are substantially larger than in past works, giving the composition a more intimate feeling.
The present work is part of a group of four paintings that share the same title and were executed on the same size canvas. As is usual in Tanguy’s oeuvre, the titles’ allusion to the biblical story of the prodigal son is obscure and highly enigmatic, though the sentiment of an unrepentant child is perhaps Tanguy’s acknowledgement of the contrary nature of his art – convincingly rendered forms, which are nonetheless entirely abstract. The first owner of the present work, Hugh Chisholm Jr. of Hillsboro in California, also owned the other three canvases, and the works remained together until they were sold from the collection of Mr. & Mrs. Leonard Yaseen in 1994.