Collage in Blue, 1957

Oil and collage on canvas

Lil Picard Collection, University of Iowa Museum of Art   1389.1999

Although Otto Weininger’s theories, as put forth in his 1903 book Sex and Character, were exceedingly racist and misogynistic, Picard was impressed by his principal notion that human beings contained both male and female qualities. Picard expressed her interest in this “metaphysical” duality theory (and others’) with a simple abstract composition of two side-by-side figures. Connections between the forms are apparent, and in Collage in Blue the two figures seem to freely interact. The figure on the left can be identified as “female”; as an outline of a breast is suggested. The negative space serves to connect the figures in a kind of intercourse.

Again, a grid system of squares pulls together the composition and collage materials. In this composition Hans Hofmann’s influence can be felt; in the 1940s Picard studied at the Hofmann schools in New York and Provincetown.

"I know I have this talent to adapt myself to latest fashion trends, which is unfortunate—but on the other hand it was proven to me time and time again that my instinctive, intuitive, “going” for something, is the right thing to do." Diary entry, 1959