Wednesday, 24 March 2010


Le Guéridon

Le jour (1929)

L'Atelier III, 1949

The Classicism of Braque’s painting of the twenties and thirties and beyond are interesting for a number of reasons. The works “reactionary nature” is connected to Braque’s “collapse into calm” (Wheeler,D., p.64). The works representation of calm is partly due to the process of the “reassembly” of the still-life tradition that Cubism “helped to shatter” (Hughes, 1991 p. 146). His subject was the studio. For Braque “the studio is a sanctum, imagination’s cave, and its clutter of bottles, pots and oddities suggests the alchemists cell with its alembics and stuffed crocodile” (Hughes, 1991, pp. 146-49). The studio or at least the image of it is one of “a privileged place of transmutation, memory and contemplation… the key to the paintings of Braque’s old age, the Ateliers of 1949-54, with their calm transparency and baffling layers of images” (Hughes, 1991 p. 146).

A further discussion on Braque is available here.

Hughes, R., (1991)
Shock of the New, London: Thames and Hudson.
Wheeler, D., (1991)
Art since Mid-Century, London: Thames and Hudson.

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