Property from the Collection of Anne and William Frej

Henryk Stażewski

Relief, No. 80, 1976

Lot Closed

November 9, 02:01 PM GMT


10,000 - 15,000 GBP

Lot Details


Property from the Collection of Anne and William Frej

Henryk Stażewski


1894 - 1988

Relief, No. 80, 1976

signed, inscribed and dated nr. 80 / 1976 / H Stażewski and signed and inscribed p Radkowi / H. Stażewski on the reverse 

metal, wood and acrylic on board

44 by 44cm., 17¼ by 17¼in.

Annely Juda Fine Art, London
Purchased from the above in 1996
London, Annely Juda Fine Art, Henryk Stażewski, Paintings and Reliefs, 1982
London, Annely Juda Fine Art, The Non-Objective World Revisited, 1988
Warsaw, Galeria Foksal, 350 Kilometer Fast Car Ride, 1998

The present work is a powerful example from a series of paintings that appeared in Stażewski’s oeuvre from the early 1970s. Stażewski was undoubtedly inspired by his meeting with François Morellet at his exhibition at the Muzeum Sztuki in Łódź in 1973. This meeting culminated in a visit from Morellet to Stażewski’s studio and a production of works by the latter, composed solely of fine lines drawn on a white background, executed often using a pen and ruler.

Abstract space - created by the crisp, white plane of the picture - plays a crucial role in accenting the complete autonomy of the painting separated from its surrounding. The simplicity and neutrality of this series allowed Stażewski to reconnect with some of the principles of Unism first developed during the interwar period by Wladyslaw Strzemiński, who wrote on the subject ‘The law of organic painting requires: the greatest possible union of forms with the plane of the picture.’ (Ryszard Stanisławski, Janina Ładnowska, Jacek Ojrzyński, and Janusz Zagrodzki, eds., Constructivism in Poland, 1923–1936: BLOK).

Whilst there are many examples with largely horizontal lines, for instance Composition No. 20, 1974 in the National Museum of Poznan, other works such as Relief, No. 80, 1976 show interrupted and continuous lines, both horizontal and vertical. Some form right angles with herringbone motifs or gaps, and others break through other lines or are simply isolated.