Artwork Analysis > To the discovery of a work by Anselme Boix-Vives

To the discovery of a work by Anselme Boix-Vives

Anselme Boix-Vives « Les bossus lunaires », 1963, gouache on cardboard, 59 x 80 cm

Four people facing the spectator in this rich and colorful composition.  The space is saturated with details whose acidulous palette attracts the eye and curiosity.

The two people on the extreme left and right are stocky, big and perhaps a bit frightening.  They almost tough the top of the work, while the central figures are smaller.  Placed one above the other, they are young children. “In glory” or in a crib?  Their faces have a joyful expression, then seem amused.  Their clothing reminds one of certain traditional costumes of Catalonia where Boix-Vives spent his early years.

The artist constructed his work like a border painting: the figures alternate, side by side in front of a richly decorated background.

The painting exudes a feeling of spontaneity where a multitude of gouache strokes seem to spring instantaneously from the painters brush.  The lines are vivid, the colors follow in a harmony with mainly warm colors: oranges, reds, accentuated by deep blues and sparkling greens.

Different worlds are juxtaposed:  one might see an enchanted garden, with luxuriating nature or antique palms next to leaves of acanthus mixes with Mediterranean palms in a sweet Spring day.  A radiant sun caresses the pictorial surface illuminating the figures with sunlight.

One can also imagine a world in space, where these “lunar hunchbacks” come forth from a fantastic and marvelous planet where nature reigns.

It might also be a celebration day, a joyful dance where guests amuse themselves admiring the magic of fireworks which decorate the sky.  Up to us to imagine it.

The composition was without a doubt inspired by the stained glass windows in the roman chapels in “Haute Savoie” where the painter lived.  Rounded vault-shapes gracefully surround the icons.  Could the central figures be enclosed in a shape that suggests a fish?  Could it be an interpretation of Jonas?  Or the symbol of a baptism?