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Gondola n°8, 1952

oil on canvas

Gondola No. 8 is a painting that is part of a series of other works that Charchoune made in the early 1950s. It is characteristic of the series in its abandonment of bright tones and colors. Unlike the other work of Charchoune that the gallery offers, La course effrénée de Phébus, the painter chooses here ochre and matte tones. He then seeks to paint a certain stripping to let the expression, the spirituality of the pictorial matter emerge. Here again, music and water, two elements that Charchoune claimed as fundamental in the approach of his work, are remarkable. First of all, the subject: the gondola, on the waters of Venice, recalls water. And yet, the painter represents in a geometrical and inflexible way this water in which the gondola sails, whereas the latter is made of round and curved forms. The painter reverses the representation of the gondola and the water: the gondola is fluid, moving effortlessly through the canals of the city, while the water becomes this inflexible, steady, and immobile element.

In a way, Gondola No. 8 is also reminiscent of Charchoune's purist period, a movement that rejects the complex abstractions of Cubism. Charchoune never really departed from this movement even though he moved away from it after the 1920s. The flatness of the painting and the clarity of the form make this painting a reminder of the painter's purism. As the title suggests, this painting is the eighth in a series of paintings of gondolas, a series produced in Venice when the painter was there in 1952. Through this series, the painter works on the different visions and impressions that the gondolas on the canals of Venice give him.

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