Serge Poliakoff - Composition aux traits - image-1

Lot 40 D

Serge Poliakoff - Composition aux traits

Auction 1155 - overview Cologne
19.06.2020, 18:00 - Modern and Contemporary Art - Evening Sale
Estimate: 30.000 € - 40.000 €
Result: 66.250 € (incl. premium)

Serge Poliakoff

Composition aux traits

Gouache on laid paper 48 x 64 cm. Image dimensions 43.5 x 59.5 cm Framed under glass. Signed 'SErGE POLiAKOFF' in black chalk lower left. - Vibrant colours, the paper slightly browned. With drawing pin holes in the corners. The motif rectangularly outlined in black chalk.

Around 1950 Serge Poliakoff found his way to his characteristic abstract formal vocabulary, which he would subsequently continue to develop into an infinitely abundant variety of ever new pictorial statements. An interplay of shapes and lines was sometimes still present in his compositions, while his later oeuvre usually works only with two-dimensional forms. The 1952 work offered here is part of a larger series known by the title “Composition aux traits”, in which line occupies an important position.
The picture's background is divided up into four fields of colour of similar size: dark green, light blue, red and brownish yellow, with the yellow and light blue areas extending slightly into the neighbouring fields. Grouped on top of this base are a number of irregularly shaped light and dark red, dark green and light blue fields as well as a reduced network of dark red lines which are congruent with the boundaries of these shapes in a few places, but mostly run their course free of them. This balanced composition made up of complementary contrasts plays with our perception of different levels. Background, middle ground and foreground as well as planes and lines interpenetrate, overlap and intersect one another and can never be unambiguously distinguished from each other. The loose, sometimes translucent application of the paint, which occasionally allows the transparent reddish underlying ground to become visible, contrasts with the sharp-edged boundaries of the forms.

Catalogue Raisonné

A. Poliakoff 52-52


Registered in the Archives Serge Polikoff, Paris, under no. 852027


Christie's New York, Auction 19 Feb. 1998, Lot 20; Galerie Sander, Darmstadt; Private collection, Hesse