Jean Léon Fautrier - Buste de Femme - image-1

Lot 272 D

Jean Léon Fautrier - Buste de Femme

Auction 1090 - overview Cologne
31.05.2017, 18:00 - Modern Art
Estimate: 50.000 € - 60.000 €
Result: 74.400 € (incl. premium)

Jean Léon Fautrier

Buste de Femme

Oil on canvas 61 x 50 cm Framed. Signed 'Fautrier' in black upper left. On canvas verso twice inscribed "Deodat" (stamped once). - Partially with craqueleur and few, partially older losses of colour.

Like the art of his contemporaries Alberto Giacometti or Jean Dubuffet, Jean Fautrier's works seek to grasp the ungraspable; they seek to depict something when the end of figure and space seems to have been reached long ago. Almost like an image of Gaia, the artist paints his female figures in a strict and monumental frontality, as though they were meant to conjure up the idols of an archaic culture. As a powerful and nonetheless vulnerable manifestation, evidently rising out of the water, the figure in the present work materialises within an indefinite pictorial space. In this context there is a highly charged contrast between the raw materiality of the paint, which would become even more predominant in Fautrier's “Otages” of the 1940s, and the graphic qualities of the reductively formulated image.
The nude, according to Sigfried Gohr, was an “elementary situation of painting” for Jean Fautrier, just like the still life, the landscape or a face. Beyond the motif the artist was concerned with nothing less than the definition of volumes, surface and space, whereby he was finally able to overcome the reduced perspectival construction of Cubism through the establishment of a new realism: “Jean Fautrier is a fanatic of transformation and metamorphosis. Unrest, negation, hatred and accusation are motifs which express themselves in the search for painted counterparts to the experiences of his time. A radicalisation of the painterly means of the first generation of modern artists and an independent reception of Cézanne's art take place. Fautrier's subjects are ordinary and nonetheless explosive. He leaves no object within a familiar habitat. […] He elevates the only form of realism that tends towards truth to the level of painting: the realism of one's own sentiment.” (Sigfried Gohr, Das Glas von Chardin, weitergegeben an Fautrier. In: Jean Fautrier: Gemälde, Skulpturen und Handzeichnungen, exhib. cat., Cologne 1980, pp. 42 f.).


We would like to thank Castor Seibel, Paris, Comité Fautrier, for kind additional information and advice.


Formerly Paul Guillaume, Paris; Galerie Jeanne Castel, Paris (gallery stamps verso on canvas); Galerie Limmer, Freiburg; Private collection, South Germany


Pierre Cabanne, Jean Fautrier, Paris 1995, p. 23 with colour illus.


Amsterdam/Zurich 1986 (Stedelijk Museum/Kunsthaus), Jean Fautrier 1925-1935, cat. no. 53 with full-page illus.; Freiburg 1986 (Galerie Limmer); Jean Fautrier. Die Erschaffung der Frau, cat. no. 3 with full-page colour illus.