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Auguste Herbin (1882 - 1960)

Lot 338: Auguste Herbin , 1882-1960 La Maison Rouge Oil on canvas


November 8, 2007
New York, NY, US

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Painted in 1925. Signed Herbin (lower right) Oil on canvas


measurements 45 5/8 by 35 in. alternate measurements 116 by 89 cm


Ceret, Musée d'art moderne; Cateau-Cambresis, Musée Matisse, Herbin, 1994-95
Stadtsgalerie Klagenfurt, A. Herbin, vom Impressionismus zum Konstruktivismus, 1998
Deurne, Museum de Wieger; Spanbroek, Frisa Museum, Kubistisch avontuur, 2003, no. 17


Bulletin de l'Effort Moderne, no. 31, Paris, January, 1927
Anatole Jakovski, A. Herbin, Paris, 1933, illustrated p. 47
Geneviève Claisse, Herbin, Catalogue raisonné de l'oeuvre peint, 1993, Lausanne, no. 567, illustrated p. 379 and in color p. 111


Galerie L'Effort Moderne (Léonce Rosenberg), Paris, (acquired from the artist by 1927)
J. W. Power, London
Waddington Galleries, London


In the years following World War I, Herbin's work displayed a great variety of subjects and styles of his paintings, ranging from a few figurative, intimate portraits, to mechanical and geometrical forms, objects and landscapes. In 1925 the artist executed an exceptional series of large landscapes, inspired by Purism, a movement founded by Ozenfant and Le Corbusier based on a reassessment of Cubism. Reacting against Cubist painting and the ideas that dominated avant-garde art in France before World War I, the Purists admired the beauty and efficiency of the machine. Adapting neo-Platonic concepts to the analysis of the contemporary world, they continued to explore Cubist subject matter, emphasizing the geometry and harmony of forms rather than subjecting them to the type of analysis that had characterized Cubism. Herbin's short exploration of Purism was most probably fuelled by Léonce Rosenberg, his dealer since 1919, who in 1920 published a French translation of Mondrian's Le Néoplasticisme. Although Herbin would soon embrace geometrical abstraction, his 1925 landscapes reveal a subtle fusion of a resolutely modernist attitude towards life and a profound respect for the classical dignity of antiquity. In the present work, the contrast between the monumental red house and the exactness and stillness of the landscape surrounding it, adds a sense of mystery to a harmonious composition.

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