Georges Mathieu, the inventor of tubism, a method where the artist applies the paint directly with the tube on the canvas (not to be mixed up with tubism of Fernand Léger), stayed in Japan in 1957, when the painting above was made.

During his stay in Japan, where he was warmly welcomed, Mathieu produced 21 paintings, one of them being the above. The work's calligraphic nature is a trademark for Mathieu. It was during his time in Japan where he had first encountered calligraphy and started to adopt the style of Oriental calligraphy within his work. Matthieu was conducting research about abstract signs, especially the kyo-so style; a free and informal type of cursive calligraphy.

Matthieu contributed to art history with his artworks composed of signs, not belonging purely either to oriental, or western traditions.

A man of the trees, Frans Krajcberg, was a Polish Brazilian artist and activist. He fought the Nazis during the second world war, and would continue to fight for the rest of his life, as his later fights were with activism for the environment, particularly deforestation.

After moving to Rio de Janeiro, Krajcberg would make many trips to the Amazon rainforest to document the deforestation, as well as collecting material for his wooden sculptures. His sculptural totems received international attention in the 1970’s and became to symbolise not only his fight for the environment, but his fight against mankind destruction.

Having survived a war, and seen further destruction by man, Frans Krajcberg made it his mission to make creations illustrating madness and barbarism through his totems.

 

Leonora Carrington, was an English-Mexican surrealist, famous for her paintings consolidating themes such as sorcery, metamorphosis, alchemy and the occult. From a young age, Carrington was inspired by the Celtic mythology and Irish folklore - imagery that would later appear in her artwork. After having encountered surrealism at the Amédée Ozenfant Academy in London, her relation to Surrealism grew stronger after she as ran off to Paris with surrealist, Max Ernst. In Paris, she got involved with the great Surrealist circle of the time.

In 1940, Ernst was interned in a Nazi prison camp, at which point Carrington left for Spain and suffered a mental breakdown. After having been hospitalised against her will, she escaped by marrying the Mexican diplomat, Renato Leduc and moved to New York. In 1942 she later moved to Mexico, where she stayed for the rest of her life. Here, she continued to paint and became part of a group of European artists who equally had moved to Mexico City to seek refuge. In Mexico, she would begin to portray metamorphosis, with paintings of domesticity and motherhood, impregnated with magic and sorcery.

 

There are many works by modern and contemporary artists to discover at Leclere's Friday sale! Check them all out at Barnebys.

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