Variable Geometries

The female faces in Martial Raysse’s early works are sometimes simplified and reduced to neutral and universal prototype-faces. With simple outlines, he subjects the female physiognomy to geometric cuts, and fragments its figurative elements – the eyes, mouth, nose – until each part becomes autonomous and expands within the space. The face thus becomes a sign that can be repeated infinitesimally, in a series of variations. The ‘with variable geometries’ works (1965-1966) are a conceptual reflection on the meaning of the frame (already highlighted in the ‘broken’ and ‘folded’ paintings), on the limits of painting and on the possibility of a psychological expansion of the human face, which becomes a true landscape.