Archive for September, 2017

Art | Figuring Out French Painting 1900 > 1950

Friday, September 15th, 2017

Serge Ivanoff, Portrait de femme
Oil on canvas
Estimate €7,000 > €10,000



Another 20th Century:
Arts of Figuration 1900 > 1950
Christie’s
Paris | France
Exhibition 15 > 19 September 2017
Sale 19 September 2017



André Devambez, La place publique
Gouache on cardboard
Estimate €2,000 > €3,000



During the first half of the 20th century, representational painting was for the most part sidelined in favour of the ‘modern’ abstract art that came to dominate France and the rest of the world. In Paris, which since the 19th century had been the epi-centre of the global art scene, aside from the surrealists and a few notable exceptions, such as Balthus and André Derain, the work of figurative artists disappeared almost entirely from view. It would be a serious oversight, however – as the work coming up for sale in this forthcoming auction amply demonstrates – to believe that representational portraits, still life and landscape painting had ceased to be produced.

Henri Deluermoz,
Homme retenant un cheval
Oil on canvas
Estimate €7,000 > €12,000



Ferdinand Loyen du Puigaudeau,
Champ de coquelicots
Oil on canvas
Estimate €8,000 > €10,000



Even when, in the 1980s, international interest in figurative art was reignited, the majority of these earlier artists remained obscure. Many of the most talented and foremost among these, such as André Devambez, Henri Deluermoz, Raphaël Delorme, Bernard Boutet de Monvel, Ferdinand Loyen du Puigaudeau, and Russian emigré Serge Ivanoff, are still largely unknown outside of France, so much so that Christie’s have not gone to the trouble of issuing an English-language version of the catalogue. Nevertheless, their work is worthy of international interest.

Well-known in France as a children’s book illustrator, André Devambez (1867 > 1944) was a professor at the School of Fine Arts in Paris. He was appointed as an official painter for the French Air Ministry in 1929; plunging views and wild perspectives of scenes swarming with Lilliputian figures, are typical characteristics of his work.

Henri Deluermoz (1876 > 1943?) was a much-respected and highly gifted animal painter, who exhibited at the Salon from 1909, and also produced tapestries and illustration, while portraitist, Serge Ivanoff (1893 > 1983) left his native Russia for Paris in 1922 and, from 1930, travelled the world working for the French weekly newspaper, L’illustration.

Raphaël Delorme, Répétition
Oil on canvas
Estimate €15,000 > €20,000



It’s obvious from looking at his paintings that Raphaël Delorme (1890 > 1962) had a strong connection with the theatre. Trained as a set designer in Bordeaux, his interest in architecture and enhanced perspectives is instantly apparent in his orderly, and skilfully constructed neo-classicist paintings that, nevertheless emote an underlying humour and have a distinctive, modern edge.

A later associate of Edgar Degas, Ferdinand Loyen du Puigaudeau (1864 > 1930) had formed a friendship with Paul Gaugin at Pont Aven, and afterwards concentrated on transcribing the effects of nocturnal artificial lighting: from candles to fireworks, to lanterns. After a stay in Venice in 1904 > 1905, he devoted himself to the radiations of the sun and the moon and the luminous effects of colour.

Bernard Boutet de Monvel,
Les Rochers
Oil on canvas
Estimate €8,000 > €10,000



Ardent traveller and dandy, Bernard Boutet de Monvel (1881 > 1949), exhibited as early as 1903 in the main French Salons, before settling in Fez (Morocco) in 1917, where, from his terrace, he painted numerous views of the city rendered as compositions of rigorous geometric shapes. He was in New York at the time of the 1929 stock market crash, where he had been making a living as a society portraitist, but, when the commissions dried up, took to painting the skyscrapers of Manhattan, in abstract compositions as well as photographic realism. Produced around 1922, Les Rochers, which features in Another 20th Century: Arts of Figuration 1900 > 1950 at Christie’s, is a study of the Adrar des Ifoghas and was used to illustrate the book The First Crossing of the Sahara (1923).

All images Christie’s Images Limited 2017, courtesy Christie’s


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Exhibitions | Olivia Locher Fights Back

Friday, September 8th, 2017

I Fought the Law (Ohio), 2014
In Ohio it’s illegal to disrobe in front of a man’s portrait



Olivia Locher: I Fought the Law
Steven Kasher Gallery
New York City | USA
14 September > 21 October 2017



I Fought the Law (Nevada), 2016
In Nevada it’s illegal to put an American flag on a bar of soap



While it may seem reasonable for Massachusetts to impose a ban on upskirt photos or for a man to be seen to be sexually aroused in public, why has a small town in Texas barred children from wearing unusual haircuts? Why is riding a bike in a swimming pool illegal in California? And, why is it against the law in Kansas to serve wine in teacups?

I Fought the Law (Kentucky), 2016
In Kentucky it’s illegal for anyone to lick a toad



I Fought the Law (Pennsylvania), 2015
In Pennsylvania it’s illegal to tie a dollar bill to a string
and pull it away when someone tries to pick it up



Artist Olivia Locher, who scoured the statute books of all 50 states in America, discovering these peculiar eccentricities and many others, doesn’t have the answers to these questions, but has created a series of striking photographic images lampooning some of the hundreds of decisions, big and small, made every year by local and state lawmakers.

I Fought the Law (Hawaii), 2015
In Hawaii one isn’t allowed to place coins in one’s ears



But Locher, whose work has been exhibited internationally, including at Aperture Foundation / New York, Le Dictateur / Milan, and Fashion Space Gallery / London, and has appeared in numerous magazines such as the New York Times Magazine, W, Neon, and Interview hasn’t just done it for fun; sometimes confrontational, often amusing, her photographs are intended to raise serious points about politics and social conventions.

Olivia Locher: I Fought the Law at Steven Kasher Gallery is the artist’s first New York solo exhibition and marks the publication of her first monograph which bears the same title (Chronicle Books, September 2017).

All images by Olivia Locher, courtesy Steven Kasher Gallery, New York.


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The Blog is about art, architecture, books, design, photography and anything else that currently interests us that we think might interest you

The Blog’s publishers insist that all images supplied for publication in our posts are cleared for that use before being made available to us. Whether pictures are sent to us as email attachments or made available as downloadable files, any responsibility for fees that may, under any circumstances whatsoever, fall due, must be borne by the source supplier


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