My Cart


•   FREE Worldwide Delivery   • 

'Mama Toiling in the Kitchen' by Alexandre Istrati (circa 1940s)


SKU 0822

'Mama Toiling in the Kitchen', oil on canvas, by Alexandre Istrati (circa 1940s). One of only a few remaining artworks by Istrati which were not painted in the abstract. The figurative work shares however, the artist's vibrant use of colour - in this case, thickened swathes of paint which, viewed as a whole, form the alluring impression. The depiction in this work is certainly a product of its era. A woman, a mother, is preparing ingredients in her kitchen for the next family meal. Her cheerful dress belies her serious, pensive appearance. Her thoughts seem to be somewhere other than on the task at hand. It is for the viewer to surmise where they might be. 

Please carefully view the listing's many accompanying photos in order to best appreciate its condition and aesthetic qualities. The painting's canvas has recently been relined in order to extend the works's life for another 75 years and is therefore in overall fair vintage condition commensurate with age and medium. The colours remain energetic and the work intact despite its characterful age. Some minor cracking in the paint is visible upon close inspection but does not affect the overall impression of the piece. The painting is now beautifully framed with a linen slip. As the artwork is unsigned (as are some of the artist's more figurative works), this gallery will provide an in-house certificate of authenticity if desired. Upon request, a short video clip of the work may be provided. 

Dimensions with frame:

H 79 cm / 31.1"

W 66 cm / 26.0"

Dimensions without frame:

H 66 cm / 26.0"

W 53 cm / 20.9"

About the Artist: French-Romanian artist Alexandre Istrati (1915 - 1991). Istrati was an internationally acclaimed exponent of the Abstraction Lyrique movement which was the European equivalent to Abstract Expressionism in America, and included Soulages, Schneider, Germain and Lanskoy amongst others. Having attended the Academy of Art in Bucharest, Istrati arrived in Paris in 1947, where he and his wife, the painter Natalia Dumitresco, were befriended by their compatriot Constantin Brancusi who gave them a studio next to his and helped introduce them to the thriving Paris art scene. Istrati’s uncompromising avant-garde spirit soon became renowned and when he exhibited his first abstract paintings at the Salon des Superindépendants in 1948 the critics applauded his radical new style. The following year in 1949 he held his first one-man show at Galerie Breteau which was so successful the leading art dealers Collete Allendy and Dénise René both invited Istrati to exhibit at their eponymous galleries. In the circle of these highly influential gallerists Istrati found himself at the forefront of the post-war avant-garde along with artists such as Soulages, Deyrolle, Magnelli and Poliakoff with whom he became particularly close. In 1953 he was awarded the prestigious Prix Kandinsky and was appointed to the committee of the Salon d’Octobre and in the next few years he would also serve on the committees of the Salon Comparaison and the groundbreaking Salon des Réaltités Nouvelles (Bio by Hanina Fine Arts).

The artist is represented in several major art museums including: Musee d’Art Moderne de la ville de Paris; Musée Nationale d’Art Moderne, Paris; Museo de Arte Contemporaneo, Madrid; Kunsthalle Zurich; San Francisco Museum; The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C.