Jean Crotti, ‘Poésie sentimentale’, 1920, Galerie Natalie Seroussi

About Jean Crotti

To the deeply spiritual Jean Crotti, abstraction was a tool for grappling with existential questions. It stands as his main stylistic consistency, although he incorporated some figuration and blended elements of Cubism, Orphism, Futurism, and Dada throughout his oeuvre. Crotti and his wife Suzanne Duchamp (Marcel’s sister) developed Tabu, an offshoot of Dada distinguished, according to The New York Times critic Holland Cotter, “by its rejection of the negative, anti-art aspects of the original.” While the style proved short-lived, Nocturne (1922)—constituting three large, overlapping spheres punctuated by smaller black and white circles—is a particularly fine example, its planetary forms representing the birth and death of the universe, a subject that engrossed Crotti.

French, 1878-1958, Bulle, Switzerland