NICOLAS DE STAEL, oil on canvas, 1943

With a strong sense of drama, Nicolas de Staël tries to find an impossible compromise between figurative and new abstract art. This piece dates from 1943 and was made in a period during which the artist destroyed the larger part of his work. The conflicting brushstrokes are filled with personal drama. With a destructive frame of mind, the painter proceeds to strip the paint off the canvas. De Staël abandons tachism and explores other paths, from geometry to synthetic cubism. His unrest with regard to his experiments resulted in an impasse which was presumably the cause for his suicide.