Contemporary Art

Contemporary Art

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 420. Autumn.

Conrad Marca-Relli


Lot Closed

March 18, 04:18 PM GMT


60,000 - 80,000 USD

Lot Details


Conrad Marca-Relli

1913 - 2000


signed and dated R-L-5-60 on the reverse; titled on the stretcher bar 

oil and canvas collage on canvas

Canvas: 68 by 54 ¾ in. (172.7 by 139 cm.)

Framed: 69 by 55½ in. (175.2 by 140.9 cm.)

This work is registered with the Archivio Marca-Relli, Parma, under the number MR-6244. 

Makler Gallery, Philadelphia
Private Collection (acquired from the above circa 1975) 
Thence by descent to the present owner

“Collage forces you to think and clarify ideas, with regard to both space and volumes. This discipline obliges me to think in terms of force, outlines, real and imagined spaces, so as not to fall into the temptation of thinking that nature is a reality.”

Conrad Marca-Relli

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 palette of brown and pepper-grey to that of Cubism.