Françoise Gilot

Le Soleil (The Sun)

, 20th Century
Oil on canvas, 31 1/2 x 25 5/8 in. (80.01 x 65.09 cm)
Gift of Owen and Leone Elliott, 1968.56

Françoise Gilot is a French painter, bestselling author, and the only woman to leave Pablo Picasso. Despite threats of artistic ostracization and failure after her decision to walk away from her ten-year relationship with the turbulent artist, Gilot's career has spanned nearly seven decades and has yielded countless high profile exhibitions and collaborations, including a recent retrospective at the Gagosian Gallery in New York City. Muse to Picasso and Matisse alike, Gilot was already an established artist when she first met Picasso (forty years her senior) at age 21. Her expressive, colorful abstractions echoed the chaos of war-ravaged Europe. This work, however, is a meditation on the intensity of the sun. Here we see the rough, heavy green outlines of a fruit bowl, bottle, and glass on a table in front of an ocean-facing window. Constructed of brilliant saturated geometric forms, the still life and landscape beyond dissolve and reform, mimicking human vision under an unforgiving summer sun.

Similarly,  the first track on Tiger Hatchery's Sun Worship explodes and rematerializes frenetically. Like Gilot's unrelenting saturated hues, Tiger Hatchery composes dense soundscapes of gasping tenor saxaphones, shuddering bass lines, and manic percussion. The Chicago-based free-jazz band combines the spirit of early New York experimentations in the genre with the raw power and anxious velocity of noise-rock.