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Alfonso Ossorio

Untitled

mixed media and wax on laid cardboard
1952
65,5 x 100,5 cm / 25 3/4 x 39 1/2 in.

Ossorio's early work was surrealist. In 1949 he met and befriended Jackson Pollock and became an early collector of Pollock’s paintings. The two artists influenced each other. The same year he also travelled to Paris to meet Jean Dubuffet, who became a lifelong friend, wrote a monograph on Ossorio, which was published in 1951, and brought him into contact with art brut. In 1950, while Ossorio was in the town of Victorias in the Philippines, painting the 60-square-meter mural “The Angry Christ” for the Chapel of St. Joseph the Worker, he also created ink, wax and watercolour works on paper. The first “wax resist” works were exhibited at Studio Paul Facchetti in Paris, organized by Michel Tapié. The present painting belongs to this series of “wax resist” works. The artist applied layers of wax and watercolour, then ink on top. This technique makes use of the fact that wax repels water, resulting in new and unprecedented effects. In his works, Ossorio combined the freely associating automatism of surrealism with gestural expressionism.

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