Georges Braque’s late ‘studio’ work was perhaps the greatest of his career—his grande finale. Painting’s essential exploratory function is brought to bear on these eight or so pictures of the master’s workshop, wherein pictorial tradition and pure creative daring achieve a natural and seemingly spontaneous co-existence.
It would seem that Braque began his studio paintings more or less simultaneously, moving from one painting to another and then back again, perhaps within the space of a few moments. As such, the paintings have a very similar character. The compositions are derived from complexly interlocking outlines, or profiles, sometimes transparent, sometimes opaque. There are vestiges of the early cubist work in the overlapping planes but the outline drawing, which marks contours, separate and subdivide the forms in connection with colour. The lines are often white, brown or black. Each object consists solely of one of these outlines filled in with a single plane of colour—or not filled in, leaving the object transparent. There’s very little evidence of natural modelling. Everything consists of interwoven silhouettes. […]