1904 - 2001
Oil on canvas
Signed and dated lower left;
signed, dated and titled on the reverse
130 x 97 cm (unframed); 148.5 x 115 cm (framed)
This work is in very good condition. The paint surface is well preserved. Very close inspection shows some minor rubbing and very light accretion in the area of the upper left corner and some light abrasion to the lower left corner. Further very close inspection reveals several minor and unobtrusive loss to tips of the impasto. Inspection under ultraviolet light shows no evidence of restoration.
The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.
Maurice Estève focused on non-figurative painting and progressed towards the autonomy of form at the turn of the 1930s. Over the years, he abandoned literal references to the figurative world and increasingly developed the spectrum of his colour palette. This artwork, dating from 1982, beautifully encompasses the central characteristics of Estève's abstract expression. The rigour of the composition and the robustness of the forms are combined with fundamental tones, exalted to saturation. An embracing couple, depicted in soft yellow tones, emerges in the centre right of the painting, yet the accumulation of abstract forms leaves room for the viewer's imagination.
Estève's compositions are constructed with great spontaneity. No prior drawings guided the artist's gestures. Colours and forms would come to life together, at the same time. Nevertheless, each work was a project lasting several hours, days and even months, which continued until the painter detected ‘life’ in it. Estève liked to speak of conversations to designate the relationship that bound him to his paintings: only the passing hours and the different metamorphoses of his compositions allowed him to see that "something was offered to him".
While Estève was never part of a particular artistic circle, he is still considered as one of the core artists who decidedly influenced the breakthrough of the École de Paris movement in the post-war era, establishing a novel pictorial language of lyrical abstraction. As sumptuously demonstrated in this artwork through layers of paint meticulously applied by the artist, a colour balance is achieved that allows light to appear. The space of the composition is suddenly multiplied and suggests depth. Just like the strings of a musical instrument, the canvas vibrates and creates a genuine visual score.