Huguette Caland made Silent Letters as a Transition from Figurative to Abstract Forms

May 17, 2016

In our current digital age, the intricate art of letter writing is pushed aside and in many ways forgotten, but in the old days, letters were the most common and often only conversational option for people separated by miles and miles of space. Filled with information and emotions alike, letters were means of communication, courtship and the most beautiful declarations of love. Huguette Caland exhibition reminds us of these past times with a series of letter-inspired artworks that will be on view at Nathalie Karg Gallery in New York. Silent Letter exhibition will include an array of recent artworks made in a variety o techniques each telling a story about distance and human relations.

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Left : Huguette Caland - Untitled, 2000 / Right : Huguette Caland - Untitled, 2000

The Evolution of Abstract in Huguette Caland's Works

Lebanon artist Huguette Caland reached international fame in 1970s with a series of erotically charged abstract artworks. The recurrent motif in her work is the female physique often painted as landscape, with voids and mountain-like forms composed of body fragments. The female characters are often accompanied by a male persona to imply the notion of sexual impulse. With her lively whimsical colors and the innovative representation of the flesh, Huguette Caland strikes a delicate balance between the abstract and the explicit. A fashion collaboration with famous French designer Pierre Cardin in 1970 resulted in a creation of a special line of caftan dresses but also directed Huguette Caland's career in a different direction. The Lebanese artist started to create patterned, textile-like compositions many of which will be on view at the upcoming Silent Letter solo show.

A Talk with the Artist Huguette Caland

The Lost Art of Letter Writing

In Silent Letters series of works that will be on view at Nathalie Karg Gallery, Huguette Caland has entangled letters (received from and written to friends and lovers while living in Paris) with bold brushstrokes of colors. The cut and torn fragments are rearranged in straight lines and covered with layers of paint. Unlike the previous abstract pieces, her recent work is more quilt-like with numerous lines, dots and patches spanning across the surfaces and largely devoid of human forms. The artworks evoke the sense of intimacy and nostalgia often present in written correspondence.

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Huguette Caland - Untitled, 1999

Silent Letters at Nathalie Karg Gallery in New York

Silent Letters exhibition is on view from May 18th until June 26th, 2016, at Nathalie Karg Gallery in New York. The exhibition will encompass Huguette Caland's abstract paintings created in the late 1990s and early 2000s that mark her return to abstraction after several decades of producing figurative works. Huguette Caland solo show at Nathalie Karg Gallery will include acrylic on canvas, ink on paper, oil on canvas and mix media works, whose prices span between $12 000 and $70 000.

Featured images: Huguette Caland - Untitled, 1999 ; Huguette Caland - Untitled, 1999 ; Huguette Caland - Untitled, 2000 ; Huguette Caland - Untitled, 2000 ; Huguette Caland - Untitled, 1999 ; All images courtesy of Nathalie Karg Gallery