1947 was to be an important year for the development of Piet Ouborg's oeuvre; a break trough to abstract expressionist painting took place in his work. He found his own new form after nearly forty years of painting. This vibrant art was, however not only a personal breakthrough, with his work Ouborg held a unique position in the Dutch art of that time, for it came about a point when the CoBrA-movement, with which abstract expressionism was long identified in The Netherlands, had not yet appeared on the horizon.
Although the change to abstract expressionism seemed to be a sudden breakthrough, in fact is was an entirely logical development that followed a natural course. He found a language to express his visions and dreams. The ballast of the earlier symbols, which occasionally referred to a particular meaning too literally, disappeared, and this had a liberating effect.
Seemingly uninhibitedly, he painted the inner images directly and vigorously onto the canvas in the most incredible colours. He wrote to Jetty Tielrooy on June 8, 1947 about the changes in form of the inner images: 'The oval, square, diamond-shape, rectangle and trapezoid populate my dreams. In addition to this, less perfect shapes. Looking for infinity that only wants to reckon with the first and the last things? Possibly, but most through colour I live the life of the senses and of open and suppressed urges and their sublimation.'
Paintings like these should in no way be regarded as the result of painterly investigation that solely focused on form, proportion and colour. Compared to for instance the painting entitled Abstract in the collection of the Gemeente Museum in The Hague (inv. no. 10-X-1958) that focuses even more on 'the perfect symbols', the present lot shows that the shapes break out of their strict geometry. The heart shapes are not only a reference to the title of the painting and inner thought of the artist, they are also a reference to Ouborg's search in finding a new language of expression. Not only do these eye-catchers give the 'totally abstract' painting the most definable elements, they also indicate Ouborg's aversion of a painting completely build up out of geometrical colour fields.
The search for language of expression can be seen as a central theme throughout the oeuvre of Ouborg, that covers almost the complete spectrum from (sur-)realism to complete abstraction. He is one of these artists that thrive on experimenting within the boundaries of his own creativity.