Deux pigeons (Two Doves)

Luis Fernández

Oviedo, Spain, 1900 - Paris, France, 1973
  • Date: 
    1963-1965 (circa)
  • Technique: 
    Gouache and Indian ink on paper
  • Dimensions: 
    48,6 x 65 cm
  • Category: 
    Work on paper, Drawing
  • Entry date: 
  • Register number: 
  • Work on loan to Museo de Bellas Artes de Asturias, Oviedo (Spain)

Luis Fernández’s early work used various languages connected to Purism, Surrealism and Geometric Abstraction, whose constructive side would mark the later development of his work, which combines the tradition of Spanish Golden Age painting with the formal renovation established by the historical avant-gardes. In the 1940s, he focused exclusively on still lifes, landscapes and animals; themes which he later reduced to single subjects in series of skulls, roses and pigeons. The treatment of figuration in Fernández’s work moved the philosopher María Zambrano to comment that she had never seen “a single profane painting by Luis Fernández”; she saw the artist as performing a kind of sacralisation of the subjects. For these series, such as the one dedicated to two pigeons in a cell that Deux pigeons (Two Doves) is taken from, he did numerous preparatory sketches on paper, detailed studies that left no room for improvisation, in order to approach the subject, the composition, the volume, the light and the colour. His work on the flat space and the economy-of-line in his drawing, his use of various tones of grey and the speculative, analytical nature of the piece all link his painting as much to the continued existence of Cubist elements in one section of Spanish painting as to the reformulation of classical traditions.