CONRAD MARCA-RELLI | THE STRUGGLE
1913 - 2000
signed; signed and dated 55 on the stretcher
oil and canvas collage on linen
Canvas: 38¾ by 72 in. (98.5 by 183 cm.)
Framed: 40¼ by 74¾ in. (102.3 by 189.8 cm.)
This work is registered with the Archivio Marca-Relli, Parma, as archive number MARE-6217 / © Archivio Marca-Relli, Parma
This work is in very good condition overall. There are tonal and textural shifts and an undulation to the canvas due to the artist's working method of adhering canvas collage. There is discoloration to the unprimed canvas collage, scattered white studio splash and minor lifting to some edges of the canvas collage inherent to the artist’s working method. There are a few loose fibers along the upper edge in the upper left quadrant, visible upon close inspection. There are two minor holes to the canvas in the upper left corner, visible upon close inspection. There is evidence of minor exposure to moisture to the lower left corner, visible upon close inspection. Under ultraviolet light inspection, there is no evidence of restoration. Framed without glazing.
The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot provided by Sotheby's. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colours and shades which are different to the lot's actual colour and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation because Sotheby's is not a professional conservator or restorer but rather the condition report is a statement of opinion genuinely held by Sotheby's. For that reason, Sotheby's condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot.
New York, Whitney Museum of American Art, and Waltham, Massachusetts, Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Marca-Relli, October 1967 - January 1968
In his 1963 monograph on Conrad Marca-Relli, H.H. Arnason describes the moment in the artist’s career when, in the early 1950s, Marca-Relli abandoned his de Chirico influenced cityscapes, full of dust, melancholy, and noonday ghosts, for his signature paint-and-canvas collages. These works, for which the artist is justly celebrated, rank amongst the finest achievements of the New York School Abstract Expressionists. His works from the period are evenly filled with incident, but with individual forms rigorously subordinate to the composition of the whole. Marca-Relli’s The Struggle is such a painting.
Unlike some of his peers in the New York school, Marca-Relli’s mode of painting and collage was not necessarily expressive. His surfaces are built by fragment and increment in such a manner that it is easy to compare Marca-Relli’s palate of brown and pepper-grey to that of Cubism.