Louis Le Brocquy Woman 1959

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Artwork details

Artist
Louis Le Brocquy 1916–2012
Title
Woman
Date 1959
Medium Oil paint and hairs on canvas
Dimensions Support: 921 x 730 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Purchased 1959
Reference
T00316
Not on display

Catalogue entry

Louis le Brocquy born 1916

T00316 Woman 1959

Inscribed 'LE BROCQUY 59' b.l.
Oil on canvas, 36 1/4 x 28 3/4 (92 x 73)
Purchased from the artist through Gimpel Fils (Knapping Fund) 1959
Exh: Louis le Brocquy, Gimpel Fils, London, November 1959 (14, repr.); Louis le Brocquy: A Retrospective Selection of Oil Paintings 1939-1966, Municipal Gallery of Modern Art, Dublin, November-December 1966 (60, repr.); Ulster Museum, Belfast, December 1966-January 1967 (60, repr.)

Painted in France in 1959, one of a series of white skeletal compositions or 'presences' begun in 1956. In a statement of March 1958 printed in the Gimpel Fils catalogue the artist wrote: 'Towards the end of 1955 I stopped making such linear compositions as "A Family (1951)" [repr. in the catalogue of his 1966-7 retrospective exhibition, no.23], in which the image is formalised within defined space, and started gradually to make indefinite white paintings in which I tried (and still try) to produce a substantial identity of surface and image. These last paintings depend for their reality, I think, on the nature and implication of their surface; a monotonous surface, but a matrix within which the central image may be realised and held'.

When le Brocquy moved to France in 1958, he started numbering his oils F. [France] 1, etc., and this picture was given the number F.20, but he lost all his records soon afterwards, about 1960, in a suitcase theft in Paris. The hairs on this work came from a defective paintbrush (letter of 28 March 1978).

Published in:
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, pp.412-13, reproduced p.412

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