“Les inondés”, 1959
Signed, titled and dated on the reverse
Oil on canvas, 97 x 130 cm.
Galerie Ariel, Paris
Galerie de France, Paris
Galleria Muciaccia, Rome
Amsterdam, Kunstkring, Alechinsky, peintures; Reinhoud, sculptures, 31 March – 30 April 1961
Amsterdam, Stedelijk Museum, Alechinsky + Reinhoud, 26 May – 26 June 1961, exh. cat. no. 24
Les inondés from the year 1959 shows a tangled mess on a wide canvas. The flood rolls towards the viewer and draws him into the pictorial space. Dynamism and plasticity are evoked by the impasto brush strokes, the finer black lines and the spontaneous application of paint. Alechinsky works quickly and intuitively, applying different textures to the canvas, even using the brush handle to scratch graphic patterns into the pasty paint. The preference for graphic patterns is evident in the thick colour fields framed by black lines, which gives the painting a very special kind of vitality.
The composition is oriented towards the middle — as would later become customary in the so-called “remarques marginales”. The “Marginal Notes” (1965 onwards) show a central motif painted with acrylic on paper and delimited on all sides by an ink drawing. The completed canvas is later mounted on a frame. In the compositional arrangement of the pictorial elements, Les inondés anticipates the method of marginal annotations, with semicircular strokes directed towards the centre of the picture, which turns home to clusters of black lines on red and white colour fields. The impasto effect is whittled out towards the outside, the colour application turning nearly into a glaze.
“When I paint, I liberate monsters . . . They are the manifestations of all the doubts, searches and groping for meaning and expression which all artists experience . . . One does not choose the content, one submits to it.”
This work is accompanied by a photo-certificate of authenticity signed by the artist.