Lot 1
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Elsa Gramcko (1925-1994)

Estimate
40,000 - 60,000 USD
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Description

  • Elsa Gramcko
  • No. 10
  • signed, titled and dated 1958 on the reverse
  • oil on canvas
  • 54 1/8 by 16 1/4 in.
  • 137.1 by 41.2 cm

Provenance

The Collection of José Gómez-Sicre
Alexander Slato, Caracas
Acquired from the above, 1998

Exhibited

Washington, D.C., Pan American Union, Elsa Gramcko of Venezuela, May 13-June 14, 1959, illustrated on cover
São Paulo, Museu de Arte Moderna, V Bienal de São Paulo, Sala Especial, Venezuela, September-December 1959, p. 407, no. 1
Miami, The Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum, Florida International University, Embracing Modernity: Venezuelan Geometric Abstraction, October 13, 2010-January 2, 2011, p. 39, illustrated in color

Catalogue Note

Elsa Gramcko is situated among the constellation of premier, modern female Latin American artists. Having attended the Escuela de Artes Plásticas de Caracas, where she audited lectures lead by Alejandro Otero, Gramcko persisted in her use of traditional mediums at a time of great experimentation throughout the 1950s.

In describing works from this period, Gramcko noted, “I do not consider [these paintings] abstract, they are very much emotive and they contain several pockets of internal meaning. I consider myself an expressive painter.” [1] The present painting, No. 10, is comprised of a simplified, chromatic pallet. A seemingly structured and formalized composition, it is not an investigation of intertwining, geometric shapes but a suggestion of something more organic and natural: shells, bones, rocks. Included in the fifth edition of the prestigious Bienal de São Paulo in 1959, Gramcko’s No. 10 marks a radical breakthrough in the development of abstraction in Latin America. 

[1] Juan Carlos López Quintero, “Elsa Gramcko: Una Alquimista de Nuestro Tiempo,” 1997, Caracas, (exhibition catalogue), p. 18

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