Pauline, a friend of the artist, was painted mid-career. By organising Pauline’s facial features on different planes of the canvas, (in order to give a ‘cubism’ appearance), the artist has created a clever portrayal of the subject.
The viewer’s eye is initially led to the flat plane on the right side of the canvas that represents Pauline’s face. However, the eye is constantly distracted by Pauline’s other eye that peers across her nose.
The gold background offsets Pauline’s dark hair, and the blue-violet colours in her attire. It helps in making the painting dynamic. The pasty white face, with exaggerated nose, is similar to those of Picasso’s faces. The artist’s fondness for large, coloured lips and blue eyes is evident in this painting also.
Pauline’s glasses are placed on her head at an angle to the wall behind her, further emphasizing the combination of straight lines and curved shapes in the painting.
What is Pauline contemplating?
Acrylic on Masonite, mid-career. (Cleaned and framed.)