Eugène Brands (1913-2002), a Dutch painter and early member of the Dutch COBRA avant-garde movement, had an obsession with ephemeral masks, and they strongly influenced his abstract painting style. These masks now exist mostly through performative photographs taken by photographer and ethnographic gallerist Frist Lemaire. The pose can be interpreted as either threatening or defensive, as the mask becomes an extension of the body and performs in conjunction with Brands, transforming him into a creature in between human and animal.

Eugène Brands mask
Photography by Frits Lemaire (1947)
Baryte paper, 24 x 18 cm, framed
Collection: Gallery Lemaire, NL