LE SOLEIL ET LES PLANETES
LE PONT Á VAISON LA ROMAINELE SOLEIL ET LES PLANETES
Auguste Herbin
QUIÉVY 1882 - 1960 PARIS
LE SOLEIL ET LES PLANETES
1941
WATERCOLOR AND GOUACHE OVER PENCIL ON PAPER

SIGNED AND DATED LOWER LEFT: "HERBIN 1941"
33 CM X 25 CM
PROVENANCE

GALERIE LOUIS CARRÉ, PARIS
PRIVATE COLLECTION, BRUSSELS

CERTIFICATE

CERTIFICATE BY GENEVIÈVE  CLAISSE

Using elementary, pure colour forms that made no reference to objects, space or movement, Auguste Herbin turned to a definitively abstract approach as early as 1926. The resulting images are characterized by subtle balance and a strong tension between the forceful and cheerful palette on the one hand and the consummate abstraction of the objects on the other. This artistic exploration of pure, intense colour and geometric formality had a lasting impact on Herbin’s oeuvre, and culminated in the “alphabet plastique” composition system he developed around 1940 as well as the numerous colour theories he set forth in his publication L'art non figuratif non objectif.[1]


Dating from 1941, our work Le Soleil et les Planetes was likewise executed in the phase during which the artist combined colours, forms and letters according to a synthetic conception of art. For Herbin, vibrant, glowing colours were always a means of expressing deep, almost lyrical fellowship and creating an especially sensual impression of painted poetry. His systematic formulations are often reminiscent of the ornamentation of earlier periods, since his works are animated not only with purely geometric forms or purely Cubist elements. In its concentration on geometric form, our small work features a very dynamic composition dominated by circles as well as interweaving interior structures which betray the artist’s profound investigation of geometry, harmony and colour in his oeuvre. The individual colour zones join smoothly to form a whole, the harmonious hues lending them an amorphous dynamic reminiscent of the delicate corporality of early modern sculpture. A follower of a theosophical conception of the world, Herbin saw the geometrical structuring of his colour palette as a means of expressing a spiritual vision of the universe. In this image of the sun and the planets, he was thus very deliberately alluding to a theme with which he was able to convey the symbolic and divine force of the heavenly bodies, the formal geometry of those bodies and their orbits, but also the impression of depth created by light and colour. Herbin was an unequalled master at lending geometric-chromatic rhythms powerful expression in his compositions. The friction between the contrasting colours generates a pictorial light resembling the chromatic apotheosis of sunlight itself. With a vigorous orange he emphasized the luminosity of the sun, planets and stars, and presented the entire splendour of the universe before a deep blue sky.





[1] Lauter, Marlene, Auguste Herbin: Vom Spätimpressionismus zur Konkreten Kunst (Würzburg, 2009), pp. 12ff.