Catalogue entry

Roger Bissière1888-1964

P77113 Untitled1955

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