Maurice EstèveComposition
Charcoal on paper
Signed and dated lower right
25.59 x 19.69 in ( 65 x 50 cm )
Inquiry - Composition, 1978


Private Collection, France

Versailles Echères auction, Versailles

Private Collection, France

Artwork's description

“ The practice of drawing is a constant given to Estève and if it obviously follows an evolution parallel to his painting, it's always by remaining faithful to its own requirements. (…) Just like his watercolors or his collages, Estève's charcoals constitute a world apart and must be viewed on the same level as the latter as autonomous entities. From the blinding clarity of virgin paper to the most disturbing opacities of black extends the infinite range of grays, whose suggestive powers he will multiply by nourishing them with interior light. Estève's charcoals maintain us in a low voice, without ever forcing the tone, of an intense reverie carried out until the heart of the night from known and unknown forms. ”

Monique Prudhomme-Estève, Maurice Estève, Catalogue raisonné l'œuvre peint,  1995


Artist's biography

Maurice Estève, French artist, is recognized as a major painter of the New School of Paris. He was one of the first representatives who turned after World War II towards non-figuration.
At the end of the 1940s, Estève abandoned figuration and opted for an emblematic abstraction which tended towards "an autonomous plastic language", inspired by the cubist movement and lyrical abstraction. The artist creates works that represent a geometric cut of colored planes interlocking and superimposing one another, like an aerial vision. Painting directly on the canvas, without sketches or drawings beforehand. This interweaving of forms, almost organic with bright and intense colors, testify to a great poetry. In the mid-1950s, he produced his first watercolors and collages.

Estève participated in numerous exhibitions, such as in 1955 at the Galanis gallery (thirty paintings from 1949 to 1954), in 1956 during the Estève retrospective at the Statens Museum for Kunst in Copenhagen, in 1967 in Zurich at the Neue Galerie, in 1973 at the Galerie Claude Bernard in Paris (exhibition of 42 watercolors from 1957 to 1972), in 1990 at the Galerie Louis Carré, etc.