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Galerie Sommerlath

Cat, Bird and Woman Lithograph #1 by Guillaume Cornelis van Beverloo (Corneille)

Cat, Bird and Woman Lithograph #1 by Guillaume Cornelis van Beverloo (Corneille)

Regular price $550.00 USD
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This lithograph, numbered 49/200, dated 99, and signed on the right bottom is presented in its original silvered frame with an intact label on the reverse. It showcases Corneille's unique artistic style, characterized by almost childlike pencil strokes, bright, unblended colors, and simple forms.

No perspective in the structure of the work. A cat, a woman's face, and a bird are presented flat in two dimensions and in a form of egalitarian essence. Each subject has wide-open eyes filled with a different expressivity. The cat looks diagonally up at the sky, while the fish-bird, in profile, exudes determination mixed with a hint of astonishment. The woman, with elongated lower eyelashes, wears a melancholy expression as if her eyelashes might merge with her own tears.

To understand this work, it is important to consider Corneille's artistic evolution, particularly his stay in Cuba in 1967. During this period, he began incorporating recurring motifs such as birds, women, cats, and elements of nature. The scene seems to draw inspiration from the imagination of a child, with Corneille effortlessly navigating its codes. The composition is marked by freedom, and a kind of spontaneity, integrating the three figures within an oval shape (except for the bird whose tail escapes very slightly), encircled by a bold blue ring that serves as a frame and directs our gaze to the center. The ring creates a powerful contrast with the bright yellow of the background, making the three figures stand out. We can also wonder about the placement of the woman in the center, the cat, and the bird on each side. The expression of the number 3 could become a formula expressing the totality of what exists: earth, sky, and intermediate space; birth, life, and death; creation, maintaining, dissolution; Yin, Yang, and Tao…

Throughout his life, Corneille pursued a "wild art" rooted in experimentation with what the CobrA movement, of which he was a founding member, called "material imagination". This artistic quest, voluntarily distancing itself from conventional representation and traditional notions of beauty, was nourished in his work by multiple inspirations, including primitive art, bestiaries, mythology, and the unfiltered drawings of children and mentally disturbed individuals.

Corneille, (1922-2016) was one of the founders of the postwar European art movement known as Cobra. He was not only a master painter but also a printmaker, ceramicist, and writer. Corneille was best known for radicalizing the conservative Dutch art world in the early 1950s, making modern art not only acceptable but embraceable as well. He placed familiar subjects — birds, cats, women, and landscapes — in mythological and often childlike contexts, imbuing them with spontaneity and bright, sensual reds. Corneille began his artistic life in 1940, studying at the Academy of Fine Arts in Amsterdam. Though he made his home based in Paris in the early 1950s, he traveled extensively in Africa, Cuba, Brazil, and Mexico. In Africa, he became fascinated by the colors, smells, and cultures. These primitive artifacts became evident in his works, which began to take on a more imaginative style, like landscapes seen from a bird's eye view, exotic birds, and stylized forms. His work is exhibited in all major museums of modern art in the world.

PERIOD: 21st Century
CONDITION: Excellent
MEASUREMENTS: Height: 18" Width: 20" Depth: 0.75"
MATERIAL: Lithograph
CREATOR: Guillaume Cornelis van Beverloo

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