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AUGUSTE HERBIN Chant (Song) 1958

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lthough he was involved with Cubism as early as 1909 when he had a studio at the Bateau-Lavoir, Herbin would eventually proclaim the downfall of easel painting and the advent of a geometric and pure abstraction. His fascination with the esoteric work of Goethe and the alchemists and his interest in color theory inspired his publication of L’art non-figuratif non-objectif in 1949, in which he established a system of correspondences between colors, forms, notes of music and letters of the alphabet. The present bold chromatic painting Chant is laid out according to the principles of his Plastic Alphabet. Each letter of the title corresponds to a color and form or combination of forms. For example, “C” is related to dark red and spherical and quadrangular forms and ”H” is a yellow orange and spherical or triangular. Herbin’s late paintings are geometric statements that prefigure Op Art and reflect his experiments with Hard-edge painting. In his own words: “it is necessary to have a color conceived strictly on the surface, linked to a shape conceived in two dimensions with means and technique without any rapport with the idea object.” (quoted in Herbin, The Plastic Alphabet, exh. cat., Galerie Denise René, Paris, 1973, n.p.). ––

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David Lévy - TEFAF Maastricht 2018  

David Lévy - TEFAF Maastricht 2018