Georges Braque
Black Bird and White Bird (L’Oiseau noir et l’oiseau blanc), 1960
Oil on canvas, 134 x 167.5 cm
Private collection
© Georges Braque, VEGAP, Bilbao, 2014
Photo © Laurens / Leiris SAS Paris

The birds

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The subject of birds was sparked by a commission Braque received in 1955 to decorate the ceiling of the Etruscan gallery at the Louvre, on which he depicted giant blue birds. The paintings shown here underscore the importance of this iconic, archetypal theme in Braque’s late works, but they also attest to the vitality of an artist who remained open to new ideas to the very end of his life. Initially treated figuratively and texturally, the birds became increasingly abstract. Distilled into signs and ideograms thrust into spaces or pictograms that float serenely in harmony with the planets.

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