《Head of Hostage》
1945 Oil on paper mounted on canvas
©ADAGP, Paris & JASPAR, Tokyo, 2023 C4232
Fautrier, who began working in impasto during World War II, pioneered the abstract art trend that would arise in postwar France. This painting is from his Hostage series, created amidst the psychological oppression the artist experienced, having been arrested by the German military in occupied Paris in 1943. The face, thickly painted against a gloomy background, is almost life-sized. The repeated lines expressing the eyes, nose, and mouth silently, but intensely, communicate the agony of the person imprisoned. This head could be said to be a portrait of human existence when wartime experiences held people emotionally hostage.