Peinture/Nature Morte is a still-life painting created by Patrick Henry Bruce in his Paris apartment between 1917 and 1930. This geometric abstraction of the horizontal plane features cut fruit, a glass with a straw, block-like shapes, and an architectural column with clean lines, static clarity, and cool tonalities. The thick, tactile surface of the painting was achieved using generous amounts of paint, with pencil only applied in some areas for contrast.
Bruce’s drive towards “pure” painting is evident in Peinture/Nature Morte’s synthesis of geometric forms into legible pictorial space. The artist is known to have been influenced by Orphic Cubism style of Robert and Sonia Delaunay as well as studied under Matisse in Paris. Furthermore, Bruce abstracted the horizontal plane from one-of-four in this particular work.
Patrick Henry Bruce was an important figure in early American Modernist art who played a significant role in bringing European avant-garde aesthetics to America. His Peinture/Nature Morte series showcased his ability to utilize geometric forms paired with vibrant colors to create innovative yet legible paintings.