Roger Bissière

Untitled

1955

Medium
Etching and aquatint on paper
Dimensions
Image: 394 x 318 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Purchased 1985
Reference
P77113

Display caption

In the last decade of his life Bissière became interested in the formal structures of line and colour. During this period the landscape and architectural references he employed in his earlier work became less and less obvious. In their place are more general references to space and atmosphere which are created through the use of translucent colour and a grid structure. The image in this etching is characteristic of his painting at this time.

Gallery label, August 2004

Catalogue entry

Roger Bissière 1888-1964

P77113 Untitled 1955

Aquatint 394 x 318 (15 1/2 x 12 1/2) on Richard de Bas paper 675 x 501 (26 9/16 x 19 3/4); plate-mark 396 x 321 (15 9/16 x 12 5/8); watermark ‘Richard de Bas'; printer and publisher not known
Inscribed ‘Bissière' below image b.r. and ‘EA IX/X' below image b.l.
Purchased from Galerie Lahumière, Paris (Grant-in-Aid) 1985

P77113 is fully characteristic of the work of Bissière from 1954 until his death a decade later.

From 1954 Bissière rejected painting in egg tempera in favour of oils. This change in medium was accompanied by a rejection of the pictographic symbols and schematic images that had characterised his work since the mid 1940s. In their place the prominent grid structure that had formerly ordered such works as ‘Grande Cathedral' 1946 or ‘Paysage à l'oiseau' 1950 (repr. Daniel Abadie, Bissière, Neucĥtel 1986, pp.63 and 76 respectively) came to the fore. In P77113, as in these later paintings, Bissière builds up the composition through light, almost translucent touches of colour. In P77113 he employs white, black and two browns for the markings, with orange and yellow seemingly washed in. Characteristic of his paintings and evident in this aquatint are the spatial ambiguities created through the variegated density of the grid structure. Here a central recession is suggested through the absence of dominant white marks away from the edge.

Published in:
The Tate Gallery 1984-86: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions Including Supplement to Catalogue of Acquisitions 1982-84, Tate Gallery, London 1988, pp.313-14