Composition au fond blanc
The Van Abbemuseum Collection consists of over 2800 artworks. We publish texts and images on an ongoing basis, but this record is currently in the process of being documented.
'Composition au fond blanc' shows a framework of thin black lines with fields of colour applied. inside and around these. The long vertical lines run together at the top of the picture, forming points and creating an association with towers. In the middle, one of the towers is crowned with a flag. Bissière painted a framework around this scene with long colourful brushstrokes. The emphasis in the painting is on the vertical character which is reinforced by the elongated dimensions of the painting. The field of colour between the black lines crossing each other, the painted frame and the reference to church towers evoke an association with stained glass windows.
Bissière believed in intuition as a guideline in his work and shared this view with many artists just after the Second World War. They endeavoured to create art in which emotion had a central place; art which was not created by means of a system of rules, and art which was therefore difficult to explain. These artists were mainly inspired by natural phenomena. In 1958 Bissière wrote: “When I start on a painting I never know where it will lead me, to happiness or to despair.” He also said: “My paintings don’t want to prove anything. They don’t want to say anything either, they are the only way in which I can represent emotions which cannot be expressed in any other way.” “I do not ask for admiration, just for a bit of sympathy.”
'Composition au fond blanc' is an almost completely abstract painting. The fields of colour have been applied as independent little elements comparable to the patches in the wall hangings which Bissière made with his wife after 1945. Because the lines move together and because of the addition of simple signs such as a flag, the painting is still a recognizable scene. The influence of the Swiss artist Paul Klee is evident. Klee also managed to evoke an identifiable scene with a few powerful and at the same time sensitive lines. However, most of Bissière’s work after the Second World War is completely abstract. It is classified in the École de Paris.
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