This interesting painting made me think of the early works by Jean Dubuffet, the French artist who eschewed traditional standards of beauty in favour of what he felt to be a more authentic and humanistic approach to image-making.
However, the work is attributed by a previous owner to the South African avant garde artist Christo Coetzee (1929 2000). It is also titled "Easter Island Moai Statues" and dated 1954 on the verso by a later hand. It is likely that the former owners were privy to information of which the source has since been lost.
Coetzee was indeed influenced by Dubuffet, and spent the 1950s in the UK and in France, where our painting was acquired.
The artwork is painted with thick impasto on canvas, and was laid down on hardboard at a later date. Measuring 28 x 22 .5 cm, the overall framed size in a period frame is 38 x 34 cm.
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