Jean Planque discovered Francisco Toledo at the first exhibition of the Mexican artist, then aged twenty-three and totally unknown, at the Galerie Flinker in Paris. The collector bought not only a fairly large canvas but also several gouache drawings, which he kept for himself or gave to close friends. He tried unsuccessfully to persuade Ernst Beyeler to give the young artist an exhibition. As usual, Planque’s choice was evidence of his unerring, uncommonly discerning eye for art. Toledo’s work is now recognized throughout the planet as an authentic, powerful, original oeuvre. It is not hard to guess at what appealed to the collector in Toledo’s paintings and drawings: the muted harmonies standing out against an almost invariably nocturnal background, a love for earthy materials and beautiful surfaces mixed with sand tinted with natural pigments. Furthermore, Planque was no doubt drawn to the firm, uncompromisingly gestural or “calligraphic” brushwork of the Mexican artist who, in a few essential strokes evokes a perturbing world where native figures and animals join in eerie and outlandish dances.
Composition with Figures, c. 1960
Mixed media on canvas
92 x 73 cm (36.2 x 28.7 in)
© 2017, ProLitteris, Zurich