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Masterpiece: Cubist Pop Art Precursor Tate Gallery Artist Fougeron Modernist Family Scene, Wartime 1944 Pastel Painting


£2,000 | $2,787 USD | €2,331 EUR
Item Number: SA787280
Date of manufacture: 1940
Current Status: For sale
Seller: Skippings Fine Arts
This antique has been viewed 85 times in the past week with the most views from France.


This extraordinarily strong family scene - a mother and her son at a table - was painted by André Fougeron (1913-1998) during the Second World War, in December 1944.
With a cubist influence, vigorous lines and colours, the work can almost be considered a precursor to the pop art that would emerge in the 1950s.
Before the war, the young painter Fougeron had already started to make a reputation for himself. He exhibited with the "Indelicates", a group of radical young artists, at the Billiet-Vorms gallery. At the "super-independent" art fair, the Salon des Supindépendants, he showed political works on the subject of the Spanish Civil War. He had joined the Communist Party and was welcomed to the "Maison de la Culture", the powerhouse for a united Left front of intellectuals and artists in Paris.
Mobilised, he fought in the Battle of Belgium, was caught, taken prisoner, escaped. He returned to Paris via the Free Zone and joined the resistance. By the time the pastel presented here was painted, he had turned his artists' studio into an underground print workshop. He printed clandestine journals including the album of lithographs Vaincre, a collaborative work containing explicit denunciations of Hitler and concentration camps, but also Petain and French collaborationist brutalities.
Quite some guy, huh? Well, the French establishment did not particularly appreciate being reminded of their shortcomings, and his lifelong allegiance to communism was considered rather awkward, too. Rather than being considered one of the major artists of the 20th Century, tpwards the end of the latter, Fougeron was almost forgotten in his native country. Oddly enough, his rehabilitation started in the UK.
In 1982, his work "The Judges" figured in "Aftermath: new images of man, France 1944-1954", which inaugurated the Barbican Art Gallery.
Surrounded by colourful paintings by Matisse, Bonnard and Picasso, Fougeron's 1950 painting none the less dominated coverage of the exhibition. The Tate Modern in London dedicated a whole room to him at its opening in 2000. Of the eight paintings by Fougeron spanning the 1937-1958 period which have been acquired by the Tate, two are on permanent display.
Interestingly, the Museum of Modern Art in New York MOMA holds a lithograph from the same series as the original pastel presented here. It presents the little boy - most likely one of the artist's sons - on sofa.
Even in France, things are now changing: Fougeron had a one-man show in the Museum of Roubaix in 2014.
Fougeron's painting are rarely on the market, as many have been lost or destroyed, so I am absolutely delighted to be able to present this powerful painting from the artist's best period.
Measuring 50 x 65 cm, the pastel on paper is signed and dated at the upper right. The overall framed size in a stunning frame by French master framers Delf is 67 x 82 cm.
Nous parlons français, und wir sprechen auch Deutsch! Paintings may be viewed in Norwich and in Paris, as well as in London and Cambridge by appointment. Please contact us if you would like further details and images of an artwork.


This item is antique. The date of manufacture has been declared as 1940.


Height = 50 cm (19.7")
Width = 65 cm (25.6")
Depth = 1 cm (0.4")

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Skippings Fine Arts
United Kingdom

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