Cock on Block
Esteban Francés, Spanish, 1913 - 1976
Working in Barcelona for much of the 1930s, Esteban Francés brought an unusual mix of geometric patterning and distorted illusionism to his painting. The artist fought against the Nationalists during the Spanish Civil War, and then was forced into exile in Paris in 1937, where his involvement with Surrealism grew. World War II prompted him, as it did many artists, to leave Europe. Francés went first to Mexico and then the United States. This painting, likely made in New York, suggests an allegory of politics in its depiction of the impending slaughter of a rooster on a chopping block.