Kandinsky loves the light and weather of Paris. He has no teaching responsibility and feels free despite the increasing heaviness of the European totalitarianisms. He introduces the curve, or more precisely the planar projection of a flexible tape, in his pictorial vocabulary and lets reappear some figurative symbols.
Rigide et courbé is painted in December 1935 with his new technique where he improves the texture by mingling sand in the oil paint. This mixed media on canvas 114 x 162 cm is estimated $ 18M for sale by Christie's in New York on November 16, lot 18 B.
'Courbé' is the central tape, accompanied by a musical rhythm. Its flexibility expresses with a new optimism the vagaries of fate. This figure is flanked by a bulge and extended at its right end by the horns of a bovine. Its interpretation as the theme of the rape of Europa is plausible and seductive. At the same time Picasso identifies himself with the Minotaur.
'Rigide' is the totalitarianism reduced to a group of skyscrapers from which however escapes a sign of life which may be a leafy branch or perhaps a fetus. In the following year in his Composition No. 9, the symbols of birth become dominant and the theme of the fetus is confirmed in several places either by an explicit figuration or by the addition of umbilical cords.
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SOLD for $ 23.3M including premium