As in all her subjects, Charley Toorop presents her still lifes with uncompromising directness. The very simplicity generates a strength infused with mystical connotations, but without making an explicit religious statement. Her objects transcend their everyday manifestations; they become concepts in stead of randomly arranged objects. Her stark style, her large, sharply defined shapes and muted colours imbue her subjects with a certain stubbornness. Yet, the fact that these potent, vigorous pictures are the work of a woman unwillingly changes the way we perceive them.
Though her subjects and style were entrenched in the years of the interbellum, her work is a testament to her personal life and her leftwing political sympathies, as is probably reflected in the present lot by for instance the communist magazine Tribune, the red banner and the rooted up fields in the background. According to A.M. Hammacher, who knew the artist personally, Toorop's strength lay in her successful attempt to wrest Dutch art out of the sphere of intimacy, transforming objects and people into monumental phenomena. The present lot Still life with newspaper is a typical example of this quotation.