Painting, oil on cardboard, 136 x 97 cm
This painting is an early example from Jeanne Mammen‘s ”graphic phase”, which began around 1949-50. These works are typified by a reduction of the movement, posture and gestures of figures, which are captured in just a few lines. In contrast to her ”plastic phase”, the artist has moved away from smooth strokes of the brush, which are now reduced to short strokes. The background is light and marked by yellow and ochre layers. In the foreground are long, schematic figures in green orange and white. On top of the painting is a sketch in thin, reddish-brown lines. They add contour to the figures and hint at gestures. A single wide brown stroke above the right figure that turns to the left suggests the head. The left figure seems to turn to the left, indicated by parallel lines. The title, ”Damengespräch” (Conversation between women), clarifies the situation: the right figure is telling the left something, who turns away, perhaps in shock.