Francis Newton Souza demonstrates the inherent tension between nature and civilization in his landscapes. His works, which often depict the sky as an equally viscous force against the buildings and trees below, become treatises on the conflating powers of god, man and the natural world. In his Landscape (lot 20) from 1960, Francis Newton Souza maximizes his use of the canvas, constructing his cityscape from a series of overlapping and highly faceted geometric forms. Collapsing depth of field, Souza circumvents a traditional one-point perspective allowing his architectonic structures to build tightly upon each other in a highly cubistic manner. The limited palette subtly disguises subject matter, highlighting instead the artist's skill with pattern, composition and form. The work wavers between reality and fiction with its corniced buildings, meandering ground line and piercing steeples, at times suggesting the catholic architecture which informed so much of Souza's oeuvre.
Again in Row of Red Houses with Trees (lot 26), crimson buildings cut sharply into the thick inky sky which hangs over their roofs, suggesting not harmony but a tumultuous battle between two dissonant elements.