Les Deux Clefs


Oil on canvas, in wooden painted artist made frame

100 x 120 cm (39 3/8 x 47 1/4 in.)

In acid yellow and orangey tones, a woman’s pelvis arches lustfully. The viewer can see only her stomach, pubis and the tops of her thighs, partly covered by stockings or tall boots. In the foreground, two white keys, drawn in outline, dangle from a chain.

It is possible that Evelyne Axell chose to represent herself in the painting Les Deux Clefs (The Two Keys). She frequently incorporates her own image into her works, particularly those that deal with sensuality, sexuality and emancipation of women, as in this warm-toned canvas dating from 1964. The keys are clearly car keys, a symbol of emancipation, and a popular subject for the Belgian artist. With no embarrassment or taboos, Axell exposes and exalts the woman’s body - echoing the beginnings of the sexual revolution.

The painting Les Deux Clefs by Evelyne Axell, part of the Pinault Collection, was presented in 2014 at the “Femminilità Radicale” (“Radical Femininity”) show at the Gucci Museo in Florence.