Project Description

Untitled, 1956

Untitled, 1956. Oil on canvas 54 x 61 1/2 inches

This is one of the most important pieces of this period. Throughout the middle of the 1950s, the work of Esteban Vicente is characterised by the search for an individual language within the context of Abstract Expressionism. When compared with those produced immediately prior to this time, this type of composition is typified by a detailed and ordered movement, thanks to the creation of square shapes that appear isolated in the centre of the painting. They denote equilibrium, satisfaction and serenity. The pictorial gesture that branded the work he created during the first years of the 1950s appears to have moved from the plane of the painting to its thickness in such a way that the amplitude of the gesture is reduced to a specific intensity of the brushstrokes building up the pictorial material to give a tactile impression. The artist applied several layers of colour, one on top of another, without allowing the oil paint to dry resulting in the colours mixing together to produce a countless variety of shades. The rectangles are stable figures, particularly when they have been aligned with the edge of the canvas and, as they are made up of very thick paint, they also appear much heavier.