Oil on canvas
39 1/2 x 39 1/2 inches (100 cm x 100 cm)
Framed: 43 3/4 x 43 3/4 inches (111.1 x 111.1 cm)
Signed lower right: C. Venard
Galerie Félix Vercel, New York
Private collection, USA
Inscribed and numbered on the verso: N.Y. 3209
Inscribed and numbered on stretcher: FV 207
This painting is sold with a certificate of authenticity from Alain Vercel, Paris.
Claude Venard trained as a painter at the École des Arts Appliqués in Paris, then as a restorer at the Louvre. In 1936, he was part of a group show at the Galerie Billet-Worms, which critic Waldemar George hailed as the birth of the group Forces Nouvelles. During the next four years, this group promoted a new form of figuration, marked by the rejection of Impressionism, Cubism, and Surrealism. Over time, Vernard distanced himself from the group, which became increasingly figurative. In 1939, the group officially split, but Venard continued to gain recognition during and after the war.
Though Venard remained faithful to a post-Cubist compositional style established by the Forces Nouvelles, he progressively accentuated the chromatic qualities of his palette, striving to produce crude colors, which he applied in thick impasto. Venard enjoyed success during his lifetime, and was given solo shows around the world. Today, his works can be found in major public and private institutions around the world, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Musée d’Art Moderne in Paris, the Tate London, and the São Paulo Museum of Art.
Our composition features an abstract presentation of cards with Venard’s signature color palette of bright and earthy tones divided into patches. The sections of color are linear and rectangular, emulating the shape of playing cards. Curved black lines trace the figurative elements of two women rendered abstractly, their fluid lines creating a feeling of femininity. Cool grays and blues, crisp whites and earthy reds and greens are concentrated throughout the scene, giving the painting an air of playfulness and whimsy.