Gaston Chaissac - Untitled - image-1
Gaston Chaissac - Untitled - image-2
Gaston Chaissac - Untitled - image-1Gaston Chaissac - Untitled - image-2

Lot 50 D

Gaston Chaissac - Untitled

Auction 1223 - overview Cologne
06.06.2023, 18:00 - Evening Sale - Modern and Contemporary Art
Estimate: 40.000 € - 60.000 €
Result: 68.040 € (incl. premium)

Gaston Chaissac


Oil on panel on metal (presumably the lid of a metal washing kettle). Approx. 109 x 43 cm. Signed (scratched) 'CHAISSAC'. Designated on panel verso. - With minor traces of age.

The central artistic focus of the French painter and sculptor Gaston Chaissac was the study of the human face. Although he also experimented with abstract forms of expression in the course of his work, he remained committed to a representational-figurative mode of depiction. His imaginative creatures, however, are far from a true-to-life rendering. In almost all works – including paper, wood and metal works – a pair of eyes is hidden somewhere, either shy and curious or horrified and distressed, seeking contact with the viewer. Similar to the works of fellow artist Jean Dubuffet, Chaissac’s figures share the characteristic that they cannot be assigned to any gender – in their appearance they oscillate between human and animal with faces between mask and grimace.
From 1949 onwards, Chaissac also transferred these principles to objets trouvés, such as wood, bricks, wicker baskets, and metal plates, which he painted in his characteristically contoured formal language, thus giving them a completely new designation. The series of painted objects also includes the “Figure” from 1955 that is being offered for sale, for which Chaissac screwed painted metal objects onto a wooden slat for both the head and the torso. As indicated in the catalogue of the great Chaissac exhibition of 1996, he shared with Dubuffet a preference for extra-artistic materials and the artists of Arte Povera ( Linz, Tubingen, Wuppertal, Frankfurt 1996/1997, p.117). Chaissac did not, however, take a provocatively socio-critical stance, but used them to come to terms with his own identity. With his experience of life on the fringes of society, he developed a sharpened sense for all other forms of existence on the periphery and often one believes to identify the artist himself in these faces.


Galerie Nathan, Zurich (label verso); Private collection, North Rhine-Westphalia


Paris 2000 (Galerie nationale du Jeu de Paume), Gaston Chaissac, p.276 with col. illus.

Linz 1996 (Neue Galerie der Stadt), Tubingen (Kunsthalle), Wuppertal 1996/1997 (Von-der-Heydt-Museum), Frankfurt/M. 1997 (Schirn Kunsthalle), Gaston Chaissac 1910-1964,, p.126 with col. illus.

Zurich 1987/1988 (Galerie Nathan), Chaissac 1910-1964,, unpag. with illus.