Peter KLASEN (born in 1935)
"Il était là" (He Was There), 1967
Acrylic on canvas
Signed two times, titled and dated on verso
Height: 92 cm (36-1/4 in.) - Width: 73 cm (28-3/4 in.)
We would like to cordially thank Mr. Philippe C. Ageon for confirming the authenticity of this work.
A certificate by the artist will be given to the buyer.
This work will be included in the first volume of the catalogue raisonné for Peter Klasen which is in preparation.
- Galerie Mathias Fels, Paris
- Collection of Gérard Guyomard
- Private collection, Paris
Yellowed varnish, few minor crackling, three small flakings, four very small losses, one scratch. Erased inscription on verso
- Detailed condition report
- Restoration bill from the artist himself
Peter Klasen, born in 1935, is one of the major artists of the Narrative Figuration movement. During the 1960s he employed a pictorial language that relied on tensions between objects, images, being and having. « Il était là » realized in 1967 corresponds to the artist’s wish to « faire une peinture hors du temps, aseptisée, dépouillée, avec une objectivité féroce » (to make a timeless, sanitized, bare painting with ferocious objectivity).
The juxtaposition of identity elements (face, ear) and industrial objects (electrical plug) on the same picture plane where consummation illustrates the loss of hierarchy between being and having. Klasen also denounces the supreme status of commercials and picture that he tore and recomposed (being the face *) in order to create shock by clashing images and not by the image alone. This is emphasized with the neutral background, lacking central item and framing close on the different elements which seem to float in an unidentified space. This loss of references entail the use of icons and signage (one arrow on red background) warning of danger or prohibition.
* The same face is presented on the work « Femme objet » (Woman Object) made in the same year that is in the collections of the national modern art museum Centre Pompidou, Paris, France.