Exhausted but happy with the quality of the work he delivered to the legendary New York art dealer – "Here you'll find, in addition to what I've already sent, enough to put together the most beautiful exhibition I have ever had", he writes in one of his letters to the gallery owner-, Staël took on a new direction, tackling still life completely differently, which will prove decisive to his later work. With its subtly nuanced palette of colours, its delicate impastos and its extremely refined chiaroscuros, Bol Gris bears witness to the major changes at play in the painter's practice at the turn of the 1950's: it is a rare combination of the series of consecutive innovations Staël introduced in his compositions after his arrival in Paris fifteen years earlier.
Looking at it closely, Staël's dexterous effort in the upper half of the canvas to bring a touch of light which oozes onto the surface of the work also reveals the extent of his technical mastery. The eminent art critic Roger Van Gindertaël made no mistake when writing in the famous Cimaise review that, with the series of works Bol Gris was part of, "Staël shows he is rising up to the challenge of a new figuration, I mean, a figuration once again outperformed." And it was indeed with this tour de force, crystallized in Bol Gris, which consists in abolishing the boundary between figuration and abstraction that Staël forever altered the course of art history.
Please call 1-800-555-5555 to order a print catalog for this sale.