Lot Content

Global notice COVID-19 Important notice
Óscar Domínguez (1906-1958)
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more
Óscar Domínguez (1906-1958)

Paysage cosmique

Details
Óscar Domínguez (1906-1958)
Paysage cosmique
signed and dated 'O. DOMINGUEZ 1939' (lower right)
oil on canvas
25 1/4 x 31 1/2 in. (64 x 80 cm.)
Painted in 1939
Provenance
Librairie Le temps qui passe, Geneva.
Private collection, Switzerland.
Private collection.
Literature
F. Castro, Óscar Domínguez y el surrealismo, Madrid, 1987, no. 69, p. 127 (illustrated; dated '1938', with incorrect dimensions and cataloguing).
Exhibited
Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Tenerife Espacio de las Artes, Óscar Domínguez: Una existencia de papel, February - October 2011, p. 59 (illustrated).
Geneva, Galerie Interart, Óscar Domínguez, May - July 2014 (no catalogue).
New York, Galeries Di Donna, Fields of Dream: The Surrealist Landscape, pp. 59 & 109 (illustrated pl. 35, p. 59).
Special Notice

Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.
These lots have been imported from outside the EU for sale using a Temporary Import regime. Import VAT is payable (at 5%) on the Hammer price. VAT is also payable (at 20%) on the buyer’s Premium on a VAT inclusive basis. When a buyer of such a lot has registered an EU address but wishes to export the lot or complete the import into another EU country, he must advise Christie's immediately after the auction.

Brought to you by

Laetitia Pot
Laetitia Pot

Lot Essay

Ana Vázquez de Parga has kindly confirmed the authenticity of this work.

Painted in 1939, at the height of Óscar Domínguez’s involvement with the surrealist movement, Paysage cosmique is one of the artist’s acclaimed series of cosmic landscapes, which emerged as the result of his experiments with automatic processes of painting. According to Marcel Jean, these cosmic landscapes first appeared in Domínguez’s art as a result of creative chance. While drinking and chatting with friends in his studio one day, the artist let his paintbrush flow across the canvas in a series of uncalculated strokes, which resulted in beautifully curvilinear wave-like forms. Unmediated by Domínguez, this process corresponded to the surrealist ideal of gesture-based automatism, which was advocated by Breton as a means of freeing the unconscious mind, liberating the rational self and allowing access to free expression. Inspired by the forms which resulted from these experiments, Domínguez began to build his compositions around these marks, layering his colours in a series of subtle, yet rich tonal shifts, incorporating an array blue, grey, green and purple tones into his compositions. The cosmic views he painted as a result would prove incredibly influential on several of Domínguez’s fellow Surrealists, impacting the compositions of such artists as Roberto Matta, Gordon Onslow Ford and Esteban Francés.

In Paysage cosmique, the artist’s use of free-flowing brushstrokes creates an otherworldly vision of an amorphous landscape, at once stationary and flowing, its forms appearing to undulate, dip and shift across the canvas. This viscous nature of the landscape adds a fantastical quality to the composition, transforming it into a dreamlike setting, whilst still retaining references to the volcanic terrain of the artist’s homeland of Tenerife. The island’s topography had a lasting impact on Domínguez’s imagination, and the stratified rock formations of the present work recalls the western coastline of the island, shaped by the daily pounding of the Atlantic Ocean into a series of dramatic cliff-faces, inlets and caves. Domínguez includes a number of incongruous objects within the landscape, from the egg which appears to float in mid-air, wrapped in a sinuous curve of rock, to the humanoid form that perches on a small plateau near the top of the cliff. This figure, seemingly encased in a bubble, lies next to the silhouette of a window, an impossible feature in the midst of the rocky environment. Combined with the spiked, net-like constellations of geometric forms that spring from the rocky escarpment at the centre, these surreal objects and scenes lend the composition a magical, dreamlike quality that defies comprehension.

More from The Art of the Surreal

View All
View All