Evert Lundquist

Woman in Red

1956–7

Artist
Evert Lundquist 1904–1994
Medium
Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions
Support: 1000 x 902 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Presented by Nils Tesch 1958
Reference
T00208

Not on display

Display caption

In the 1950s Lundquist's work was dramatically expressive in technique, while his imagery remained closely in contact with visible nature. Here the image is subjected to severe simplification and locked into a formal structure and strong surface texture of coloured paint strokes. The artist has described the image as representing the head and shoulders of a woman with flowing hair. A pair of wings and the head of a second figure are also suggested and there is a window at top left. The veiling of the imagery through simplification and by the use of red and warm colours was intended to heighten the irrational dream-like effect of the image.

Gallery label, September 2004

Catalogue entry

Evert Lundquist born 1904

T00208 Woman in Red 1956-7

Inscribed 'E.L.' t.r. and '"Sittande Flicka" | Evert Lundquist | 1956-1957 | Sweden' on back of canvas
Oil on canvas, 39 3/8 x 35 1/2 (100 x 90)
Presented by Nils Tesch 1958
Prov: Nils Tesch, Stockholm (purchased from the artist)
Exh: Evert Lundquist, Konstakademien, Stockholm, March 1957 (95), as 'Sittande Kvinna'; Konsthallen, Gothenburg, April 1957 (87)
Repr: exh. catalogue Evert Lundquist, Galerie Rive Gauche, Paris, February 1960 (but not exhibited)

The artist wrote (letter of 4 November 1958) that this picture belongs to a series of paintings in which he tried to give a suggestion of a human body in irrational light painted in predominantly red and warm colours, with the naturalistic volumes or forms veiled and flowing to heighten the irrational dreamlike effect. These pictures are in contrast to other paintings in which he works in closer contact with visible nature (often with simple themes such as a ladder leaning against a wall or an easel standing in the corner of a studio).

In the present work one sees the head and shoulders of a female figure facing left, the lower part of her torso hidden by a wall. She has flowing hair and the artist has introduced a suggestion - but only a suggestion - of wings behind her. There is a window in the top left. Above the head or rather behind it appears the indication of another head in a darker tone.

The picture has also been known as 'Seated Woman', but the artist prefers the title used here.

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.458-9, reproduced p.458

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