GEORGES VALMIER 1885-1937 JEUNE FILLE ASSISE Signed G. Valmier. (lower left) Oil on canvas 28 7/8 by 21 1/4 in. 73.4 by 53.9 cm Painted in 1919.
Paris, Galerie Seroussi, Centenaire de G. Valmier, 1985-86, no. 8 (titled Fugue)
Bulletin de l'Effort Moderne, Paris, June 1926, no. 26
Georges Valmier (exhibition catalogue), Galerie Guénégan, Paris, 1990, p. 9
Denise Bazetoux, Georges Valmier, Catalogue raisonné, Paris, 1993, no. 37, illustrated p. 47
Galerie l'Effort Moderne (Léonce Rosenberg), Paris
J. Müller, Switzerland
Sale: Gabus, Hôtel des Bergues, Geneva, November 1, 1984, lot 649
Madame de Bourla, Brussels (and sold: Sotheby's, London, December 2, 1987, lot 185)
Private Collection, Europe
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Following the conclusion of World War One, Georges Valmier emerged as one of the leading painters of the Cubist style. The small, delicate collages which garnered him attention in 1916 were markedly different than the works of older Cubists like Picasso, Braque and Gris, their distinction perhaps most clearly demonstrated through Valmier's ebullient use of color. Rather than using the muted, neutral palette favored by the pre-war Cubists, Valmier embraced bold, vibrant hues in his paintings as a means of expression. "With the current plastic expressions," Valmier wrote, "color takes on its true meaning, its own life. Color is the substance which is destined to express the intellect"(quoted in Denise Bazetoux, Georges Valmier, Catalogue raisonné, Paris, 1993, p. 20).
The artist would become quite prolific by the 1920s, but his works from the years just after the war are rare examples of his revolutionary style. Painted in 1919, Jeune fille assise combines the polychromatic harmony and masterful synthetism of the artist's strongest works. He brings his female figure to the brink of abstraction but still allows for a reading of her position in the space of the composition. He employs a brilliant confluence of different patterns and textures, including passage referencing the early Cubism of Picasso and Braque and stippling borrowed from the Neo-Impressionists, to create an entirely unique idiomatic expression. Jeune fille assise is emblematic of both the artist's ideology and the movement of Cubism in its entirety.
Fig. 1 The artist in 1925