Almost representational, this elegantly simple work condenses the image to that of pure form. Expressive curves meet the rigidity of the straight line, infusing the work with a poetic unconscious. Birdlike, without being didactic or figurative, gestural marks convey an essence of flight with an abstract sensibility. Richly colored, the inky black impression glistens in light, and floats in negative space, unframed, and central. Its shape and location dominate the composition, and engage the negative space, emblematic of the delicate aesthetic balance mastered in Braque's later works.
Created in 1962, this color wood engraving on wove paper is hand-signed by Georges Braque (Argentueil, Val-d'Oise, 1882 - Paris, 1963) in pencil in the lower right margin. An artist's proof annotated 'H.C.' (hors de commerce) in pencil in the lower left margin, this work is one out of a series of 18 such color wood engravings that accompany text by Guillaume Apolliaire in the book Si je mourais la-bas which was published by Louis Broder, Paris and printed by Féquet and Baudier, Paris.
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