22nd Nov, 2023 14:00

20th Century Art: Paintings and Original Works on Paper

  Lot 217 §


Property from a Private Danish Collection

signed Balle (lower left)
oil and mixed media on paper
41.5 x 50.5 cm

Private collection

Balle began painting in the 1940s with influence stemming from Danish abstract art, his French residence, and his position as a member of the Cobra movement. Balle was closely associated with The Spiralen Group where he formed relations with artists such as Danish painter and sculptor Asger John whose work inspired his practise. Balle’s work developed to become more abstract, eventually displaying a variety of fantasy figures which he then produced bronze sculptures of from the 1960s.

During the time of occupation of World War II, the Netherlands had been disconnected from the art world beyond its borders. CoBrA was formed shortly thereafter. This international movement of artists who worked experimentally evolved from the criticisms of Western society and a common desire to break away from existing art movements, including "detested" naturalism and "sterile" abstraction. Experimentation was the symbol of an unfettered freedom, which, according to Constant, was ultimately embodied by children and the expressions of children. CoBrA was formed by Karel Appel, Constant, Corneille, Christian Dotremont, Asger Jorn, and Joseph Noiret in 1948 at the Café Notre-Dame, Paris, with the signing of a manifesto, "La cause était entendue" ("The Case Was Settled"), drawn up by Dotremont. Formed with a unifying doctrine of complete freedom of colour and form, as well as antipathy towards Surrealism.


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