2017-11-22-2018-11-21 --- 2018-11-21 01:49:18--18
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LOT :26
Louis Le Brocquy HRHA (1916-2012)
Pigeon Landing (1984)
Oil on canvas, 50 x 50cm (19¾ x 19¾'')
Estimate EUR : €30,000.00 - €50,000.00
Auction Date : 22-11-2017


Louis Le Brocquy HRHA (1916-2012)
Pigeon Landing (1984)
Oil on canvas, 50 x 50cm (19¾ x 19¾'')
Signed with initials; signed and dated (19)'84 verso
Inscribed with title on stretcher (AR 515)

Exhibited: 'Louis le Brocquy: Procession of Lilies and Other Work' exhibition, The Taylor Galleries, Dublin, March/April 1985, Catalogue No.29, where purchased; 'Louis le Brocquy, Image, Single and Multiple 1957-1990', Japan touring exhibition, The Museum of Modern Art Kamakura, January/February 1991, Itami City Museum of Art, Hyogo, February/March 1991, Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, April/May 1991, in association with the Irish Embassy.

Literature: 'Louis le Brocquy, Image, Single and Multiple 1957-1990', illustrated p.74.


Pablo Picasso's globular, iconic spirit was preoccupying Louis le Brocquy when in 1984 he took time out to paint this lyrical Fantail Pigeon - 'Pigeon Landing. While Picasso was ''a being in whom the power and joy of life were uniquely personified'' for the artist. Here is sheer, effervescent pleasure in life and liveliness hovering at the moment of landing. Unguenty swathes of oil, applied as though breathlessly, must achieve the almost impossible task of picturing fluttering, feathery being. Slow, laborious matter - the heavy oil - meets rapid, gestural action. The art is in the moment.


The very delightfulness of the image and the sight that inspired it draw attention away from the challenge at stake. How can oil paint make movement appear? Viewers may wonder how such flickering, flirtatious fantails seem to scatter lines of movement in internally-mirrored arcs, using painted marks that echo the moving pictures of twentieth-century cinema as well as Duchamp's early experiments in capturing motion and velocity in two dimensions.

''Perhaps this is simply a temporary release from the heads and their rather intense reflective consciousness, their tragic aspect,'' le Brocquy thought aloud to an interviewer that year, ''a return to a simple state of being, emerging in its own nature, filling out its little volume of reality with the various natural possibilities of its form. Picasso's own painted doves had worked allegorically as a way of picturing peace and love, of imaging aspirations beyond everyday limitations. Not for nothing did the cliché speak of being 'free as a bird'. The birds signalled wonder.


Yet Le Brocquy's pigeons reached further back into the decaying Georgian streets of his Dublin childhood as well to the Parisian boulevards he would stroll later. An early dove painting appeared in 1955. Then in 1956, le Brocquy found himself feeding a flock of white doves who deigned to reside in the courtyard of Casa Pezzoli, his lodgings while staying in Foggia-Ischia. He sketched them and made images in oil.


At Les Combes, Le Brocquy's French home, his house and studio hung on a vine-clad valley where fantail pigeons soared and dived by day, gliding back to their dovecotes each evening for an interlude of billing and cooing. Here began the specific series to which this painting belongs.



Our thanks to Medb Ruane whose previous writings on the artist formed the basis of this catalogue entry.


Hammer Price : €38,000.00
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