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Sous-bois, Composition 347, 1957

Oil on canvas

Sous-bois, composition 347 is an oil on canvas that Bissière produced in 1957. At that time, he returned to the technique of oil on canvas after having abandoned it for another technique he had developed in the late 1940s: egg paint on a linseed oil base. However, the transparency of the glazes in oil paint gave him more possibilities for his painting than his previous technique. Several works from this period have the same format, composition and technique as the work we are interested in: he proceeds in series, which he numbers. Bissière is thus in a process of research, he regularly reworks his motif and explores all its variations.

The composition of Sous-bois, composition 347, organized around vertical and horizontal lines, squares of different colors, could remind us of the weave of a fabric. However, Bissière has devoted himself to making tapestry, in an unconventional way, by sewing together different elements of recovery. The different squares are therefore reminiscent of these pieces of fabric that Bissière assembles. This work also prefigures the stained-glass windows that Bissière made in 1960 for the cathedral of Metz. However, here, the title indicates that it is an "undergrowth". Immediately the eye of the spectator identifies the work as the representation of trees, of a forest: the vertical lines are the trunks, the vertical lines represent either the ground or the branches. The colors, the luminosity of this canvas is due to the technique that Bissière chose but also recalls the light passing through the stained-glass windows and which even seems to emanate from them. In Composition 347, the light seems to emanate directly from the canvas. The blue squares, undoubtedly representing the blue of the sky, pierce here and there, and illuminate the foliage and vegetation of the forest, but the light does not necessarily seem to come only from these small spaces. On the contrary, the colors harmonize, respond to each other: in a word, they complement each other. This makes sense, when we know that the complementary color of blue is yellow or orange, depending on the depth of the blue. In fact, Bissière sprinkles his work with these complementary colors: red/green, blue/yellow, white/black, etc. Bissière draws with color a non-figurative landscape: a landscape expressing what the artist feels when observing nature, without any figurative intermediary, just with the subtle union of colors, forms and rhythm.

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