Alfonso Michel

Vaso con pera, 1954

Oleo / tela
44 x 33.5 cm

..the bright morning sunshine in Glass with Pear bleaches the surfaces. The predominance of white intensifies the flattening and tipping of the picture space. As in most of his still lifes, the objects here, framed and centered within a geometric picture space, are seen from above and at close proximity. Once again, Michel minimizes interpretive content in his pursuit of elegant form...the chalky white, pink and blue palette of Glass with Pear brings to mind Braque's Pink Tablecloth (1933; Chrysler Museum, Provincetown, Massachusetts). The compositional flattening is a lesson assimilated from careful study of images such as Cezanne's Still Life with Plaster Cupid (c. 1895; Courtauld Institute, London). Though visually interesting and steeped in the genre's connotations of contemplating the "easily overlooked," both paintings openly acknowledge painting's pretense. These are not "real" arrangements, viewed through a window onto the world, nor do they pretend to be. Instead, the viewer takes delight in Michel's engagement with color, paint and surface, with the concession that a still life, like any other painting, is nothing more than a depiction of elements arranged pictorially on a two-dimensional surface.

Vide Adriana Zavala, Arte moderno de México. Colección Andrés Blaisten, Mexico, Universidad Nacional Autonóma de México, 2005.

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