A magical, expressionist and almost surrealist scene by Austrian Sylvain Vigny (1903-1970). It depicts a host of elegant figures on a balcony overlooking the sea. Vigny arrived in France in 1929, aged 27. After turbulent, adventurous years in Vienna and Paris - with probably a fair share of drama and trauma- the artist settled in Nice on the Riviera, where the work presented here was painted around 1950.
Sylvain Vigny notably exhibited in New York with Douthitt Gallery in 1938, and at at the mythical Galerie Bernheim Jeune, Paris, in 1948. Retrospectives have been held at the Chteau-Muse de Cagnes-sur-Mer in 1988 and at the Petit Palais in Geneva 1989.
Mattia Melzi, who curated the exhibition "Sylvain Vigny, rediscovering a talent" in Milan et Washington in March 2014, writes about the artist:
Vigny's works, with its strong brush strokes, are charged with pathos and mystery; in his landscapes we find seated figures on the seaside, groups of men walking with apparent no direction as a hint of uncertainty towards the future and a particular yet disturbing choice of colours. Dark skies and mud coloured seas are a surrealistic representation of reality, which takes us in parallel worlds of imagination made of distress and anxiety. The beauty of these works resides in the power they emanate, the dark charge of mystery that surrounds the canvas and the thick layer of oil applied on it.
While Vigny's art makes us instinctively understand that the artist's haunted nature, it is also characterised by great warmth and is immensely humane. Vigny's signature colours, translucent jewels tones, glow like candles in the dark.
Works by Vigny are in the collections of the National Museum of Modern Art/Pompidou Center in Paris, the Musée Massena in Nice, the Fine Arts Museum of Menton, the Musée national d'histoire et d'art in Luxembourg and in the Lentos Kunstmuseum in Linz/Austria.
Our oil on canvas measures 46 x 38 cm and is signed at the lower left. The overall size including a sumptuous frame is 56 x 64 cm.
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