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Opus 297, Flowers de Lempicka

In this remarkably ethereal and self-controlled painting, Cano has reflected on the aesthetic associations identified with Tamara de Lempicka, the Polish-born artist whose life spanned mid-20th-century Art Deco successes prior to her death in Mexico (1980). Her pursuit of beauty was unending, so that Cano has presented this pure tribute still-life with a translucent vase and full-blooming flowers with fallen petals at the bottom alluding to the transience of beautiful nature and the permanence of art.

The taut design sense in Lempicka’s work impressed Cano early on, when she was a contributor to “the best and purest forms of that decorative art period” (C. Moffat), ranging from Synthetic Cubism to most mid-20th-century decorative art movements. Even when Abstract Expressionism came to the fore, her work was full of new ideas, so that her spirit of perseverance and use of mixed styles fit Cano’s own aspirations as an artist. His design orientation contains “a search for purity” as well as personal references—utilizing the clarity and animation that Lempicka herself had captured.

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