Huguette Caland (b. 1931)
Property from the Collection of Eric Clapton
Huguette Caland (1931-2019)

Bribes de Corps (Body Parts)

Huguette Caland (1931-2019)
Bribes de Corps (Body Parts)
signed and dated ‘H. Caland 68-70’ (on the reverse)
oil on canvas
33 x 46in. (85 x 117cm.)
Painted circa 1968-1970
Galerie Janine Rubeiz, Beirut.
Private Collection (acquired from the above circa 1997-1998).
Anon. sale, Sotheby's London, 24 October 2007, lot 557.
Acquired at the above sale by the present owner.

Lot Essay

Hugette Caland’s Bribes de Corps (Body Parts) is exuberant, ardent and vibrating with life. Swelling across much of the canvas are two lusty teal forms separated by a single line, an electrified fissure. The corner is marked by a plump mouth, a vivid red heart. It is an early work from Caland’s celebrated series Bribes de Corps (Body Parts), works from which were included in the artist’s 2019 exhibition at Tate St. Ives, her first retrospective in the United Kingdom. Painting both self-portraits as well as friends and lovers, the Bribes de Corps are erotically charged works for which Caland magnified the female body, transforming these fleshy geometries using bright colours and sinuous lines. She rendered these forms as corporeal topographies, sumptuous, abundant and liberated.
She began the Bribes de Corps in the early 1970s after relocating to Paris, a move she hoped would establish career as an artist: ‘I wanted to have my own identity. In Lebanon, I was the daughter of, wife of, mother of, sister of. It was such a freedom, to wake up all by myself in Paris. I needed to stretch’ (H. Caland quoted in A. O’Connor, ‘Her Magical World’, Los Angeles Times, 19 June 2003, n. p.). Born in Lebanon, Caland only began studying art in her thirties at the American University in Beirut. There she was taught to concentrate on the ‘potentialities of the line’ by drawing continuous tracks across the page, a method which would come to define her practice (O. Kholeif, ‘Huguette Caland: A Life Coming Into Focus’, Art Papers, Spring 2018, In the Bribes de Corps, her already confident and deft lines were imbued with a newfound joie de vivre, an expansive outlook that extended to the subject matter of the series itself. The works portray the female body as beautiful and free, and such vitality is evident in the quaking, exaggerated greens of Untitled, a flourishing landscape of optimism and ebullience.

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