385
385

PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF ANN & GORDON GETTY

Francis Picabia
PAYSAGE
Estimate
250,000350,000
LOT SOLD. 250,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT
385

PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF ANN & GORDON GETTY

Francis Picabia
PAYSAGE
Estimate
250,000350,000
LOT SOLD. 250,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale

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New York

Francis Picabia
1879 - 1953
PAYSAGE
Signed Picabia and dated 1909 (lower right)
Oil on canvas
25 3/4 by 32 in.
65.4 by 81.2 cm
Painted in 1909.
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Provenance

Simone Collinet (Galerie Furstenberg), Paris (acquired by 1964)
Sale: Hôtel des ventes, Enghien, December 11, 1977, lot 118
Sale: Drouot Richelieu, Paris, April 11, 1998, lot 238
Private Collection, France (and sold: Sotheby's, New York, November 17, 1998, lot 379)
Acquired at the above sale

Exhibited

London, Matthiesen Gallery, Francis Picabia 1879-1953, 1959, no. 10 (possibly)
Paris, Galerie Mona Lisa, Picabia vu en transparence, 1961, no. 9 (possibly)
Paris, Galerie Furstenberg, Francis Picabia 1879-1953, 1964, no. 3 (possibly)
Leverkuse, Städtisches Museum & traveling, Picabia, 1967, no. 5 (possibly)

Literature

Maria Lluïsa Borràs, Picabia, Paris, 1985, no. 198, illustrated in color pp. 116-17
William A. Camfield, Beverly Calté, Candace Clements, Arnaud Pierre & Pierre Calté, Francis Picabia Catalogue Raisonné, vol. I, New Haven & London, 2014, no. 399, illustrated in color p. 307

Catalogue Note

Picabia’s biographer William A. Camfield wrote that the crisis in the artist’s career “over the winter of 1908-09 marked the beginning of a four-year search for self-expression in the visual vocabulary of avant-garde art” (William A. Camfield, Francis Picabia: His Art, Life and Times, Princeton, 1979, p. 17). Initially a painter in the image of Sisley and Pissarro, Picabia shirked the profitable trajectory of his nascent Impressionist career, exploring such aesthetics as those of the Fauves, Expressionists, Nabis and the Section d’Or. Picabia would ultimately become renowned for his defiance of categorization and the prescriptions of specific artistic movements, but it was this groundbreaking shift toward the new that was captured in the canvases of 1909.

Picabia’s marriage to Gabrielle Buffet in January 1909 was critical to these advances. A music student under composer Vincent d’Indy and later Ferruccio Busoni, Gabrielle facilitated Picabia’s newfound conception of art as a representation of feeling and emotion over Impressionist concerns for atmospheric light and color. Asked by his new wife what he would paint if not Impressionist landscapes, Picabia replied “forms and colors liberated from their sensory attributes—painting situated in pure invention that re-creates the world of forms following its own desire and imagination” (quoted in William A. Camfield, Beverley Calté, Candance Clements, Arnauld Pierre & Pierre Calté, op. cit., p. 54). This pursuit of pure color and form was sought by other radical artists of the time, such as Kandinsky, who searched for a new spiritual reality at Murnau (see fig. 1). Returning to the locations of his bucolic earlier works, Picabia repainted these sites through the lens of a vast stylistic evolution. Works such as the simply titled Paysage were his first to draw from Neo-Impressionism and Fauve output. As stated by William Camfield: “Picabia no longer conceived art as the representation of the appearance of nature but as the equivalent of one’s emotional experience of nature—an equivalent realized by orchestrating the autonomous, expressive properties of form and color… For Picabia, however, this concept of correspondence was crucial. For the remainder of his life, his work was nourished by one or more of the liberating characteristics of that aesthetic—its celebration of individualism, its compatibility with the notion that spontaneous expression is a more effective, 'truthful' means of rendering one’s sensations, and, finally, its concept of autonomous and associative values for color and form which was open to the development of abstract art” (ibid., pp. 12-13).

No longer concerned with the optical representation of atmospheric effects, Picabia was free to explore even more avant-garde forms of abstraction. While his technique and artistic style changed drastically, it would be Picabia’s beloved genre of landscape painting that would propel him into the world of abstraction. In Paysage, Picabia paints the French countryside as geometric forms, building a landscape from a repertoire of green, red and navy shapes. These simplified, solid forms are reminiscent of the Post-Impressionist Nabis, illustrating how flattened planes of color can be assembled to create a more intense understanding of landscape, particularly when relieved from the constraints of direct representation.

Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale

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New York