Conrad Marca-Relli City to Town
Conrad Marca-Relli City to Town
Conrad Marca-Relli City to Town
MAY 5 – JULY 29, 2011
ESSAY BY CARTER RATCLIFF
IN ASSOCIATION WITH ARCHIVIO MARCA-RELLI, PARMA
Knoedler & Company E S TA B L I S H E D 1 8 4 6
19 E AST 70 S TREET N EW Y ORK N EW Y ORK 10021 T E L 2 1 2 7 9 4 -0 5 5 0 F A X 2 1 2 7 7 2 -6 9 3 2 W W W . K N O E D L E R G A L L E R Y. C O M
Ever since the fifteenth century, we in the West have tried to define pictorial composition or at least say what it does. In 1434, the humanist Leon Battista Alberti called it “that rule . . . by which the things seen in the painting fit together.” Harmonizing disparate forms, composition makes a work of art coherent—perhaps even beautiful. Conrad Marca-Relli, who died in 2000 at the age of eighty-seven, was a master composer and yet he hardly ever spoke of composition. There is a good reason for that. Marca-Relli was a central figure in the band of New York painters who emerged in the years just after the Second World War—Willem de Kooning, Franz Kline, and Philip Guston among them. These artists talked about gesture, action, even authenticity, but never about composition. The word brought with it the stale air of the academy. If pressed, these artists would have agreed with Nicolas Poussin, the seventeenth-century luminary who said that compositions should be “natural,” not “worked out with obvious effort.” The trouble was that generations of teachers and theorists tried to formulate hard-and-fast compositional rules, with increasingly predictable results. An innovator riding a postwar wave of innovation, Marca-Relli was allergic to the pictorial clichés that went by the name of “good composition.” Nonetheless, he needed a way to talk about structure. For he and his friends were incessant talkers. The currents of passionate conversation in which this generation swam not only sustained their community but also shaped their achievements. If “composition” was not a word one could use in a downtown studio or at the Cedar Bar, Marca-Relli needed another. And he found one: “architecture.”
“Cityscape” A-M-10-96, 1996 Collage and mixed media on canvas 48 1/2 x 53 inches (123.5 x 135 cm.)
In a 1965 interview with Dorothy Seckler, he tells her of “looking for the architecture of the single figure, then the architecture of two figures.”1 Earlier, in a discussion of The Battle (1956), he mentioned “the architecture of an event.”2 And architecture itself is among his abiding subjects, along with the human figure who inhabits the built environment and gives it its scale and dignity. The earliest work in this exhibition is Adobe House (Desolate Street), 1942. Sharpened by desert light, the blunt forms of vernacular architecture Untitled, 1939, mixed media on cardboard 9 3/4 x 12 1/4 inches (25 x 31 cm.)
are drawn into the distance by an imperious perspective. With a clarity bordering on harshness, this painting evokes a memory of a trip to Mexico taken two years earlier. By 1942, Marca-Relli had been drafted into the United States Army. During his four years of military service, he was able to paint only Adobe House and a few other canvases, all of which have been lost. Discharged in 1945, he returned to Manhattan, where he had lived during the Depression years. The Works Progress Administration took him on as a teacher in the mid1930s. Later, he worked for the Federal Arts Project. Slowly, Marca-Relli found his way into a community of artists struggling, as he was, to survive and fight free of their provinciality. Works of the European avant-garde could be seen at the Museum of Modern Art and in certain uptown galleries. Pablo Picasso and Cubism, Joan Miró and Surrealism—these were known to Marca-Relli and other ambitious young New Yorkers, along with Pierre Matisse, Piet Mondrian, and Wassily Kandinsky. Yet it was only in the aftermath of the Second World War that they found their own uses for the examples set by these leaders of
the European avant-garde.
Adobe House (Desolate Street), 1942, oil on canvas 18 x 27 inches (45.5 x 69 cm.) Galleria Open Art, Prato, Italy
Cityscape, ca. 1952, oil on canvas 36 1/2 x 61 1/2 inches (93 x 156.5 cm.)
By the end of the 1940s, Willem de Kooning had remade Cubism in an aggressive, slashing mode. Dispensing with brushes, Jackson Pollock had turned the Surrealists’ automatic drawing into a method of pouring and spattering paint directly onto the canvas. From 1945 to 1948, Marca-Relli drastically flattened the space of landscape, reducing it to a blocky pattern of colors populated by schematic images of people and other creatures. In the biographical notes he compiled over the years, the artist says that these pictures occupy a space between “Surrealism and Metaphysical.”3 The first of these labels is of course well known, the second less so. It refers to the small group of Italian painters known as the Metaphysical School, founded in 1917 by Giorgio de Chirico and a former Futurist named Carlo Carrà.
Mario Sironi (1885–1961), Urban Landscape, n.d. Galleria d'Arte Moderna di Ca' Pesaro, Venice Photo Credit: Cameraphoto Arte, Venice Art Resource, NY© 2011 ARS, New York /SIAE, Rome
Marca-Relli showed this Surrealist-Metaphysical work at the Niveau Gallery, on Fifty-Seventh Street, in 1947. The response was favorable, several paintings were sold, and yet the artist continued to experiment. He made small paintings of monumental figures. Commandeering the Cubist grid, he filled it with shimmering, shifting colors that bring its rigid order to the verge of dissolution. Then, in a painting thought to be from 1952, he returned to the angled geometries of Adobe House. Called Cityscape, this work is more complex than its predecessor. There are more buildings and no single point of view organizes them along a single axis. Each building in this picture asserts a perspective of its own. With Cityscape, the balance of Marca-Relli’s art tips away from Surrealism and toward the Metaphysical School. De Chirico, Carrà, and other members of the School feared that the avant-garde—Cubists, Futurists, Constructivists, and all the rest—had reduced art to a set of empty formal games. Our cultural memory was being lost as
artists innovated for innovation’s sake. Driven by a yearning for transcendent meaning, de Chirico declared in 1919 that “symbols of a superior reality are to be seen in geometric forms.” Moreover, this geometry surrounds us “in the construction of cities, in the architectural forms of houses, in squares and gardens and public walks, in gateways and railway stations.” Here, he insisted, is “the foundation of a great metaphysical aesthetic.”4 Alone among his colleagues in New York, Marca-Relli was in sympathy with these ideas—or rather with the Metaphysical School’s sensitivity to the grand resonance of urban form. Yet his Cityscapes reveal fewer affinities to the paintings of de Chirico, with their skewed perspectives, than to those of Mario Sironi. Like Carrà, Sironi began as a Futurist: an artist entranced by the power and dislocating speed of modern machinery. By the early 1920s, however, he had joined the ranks of de Chirico and Carrà and begun to look for monumental calm—and some transcendent meaning—in the hulking forms of industrial buildings. The anonymous facades and crowded space of Marca-Relli’s Cityscapes recall Sironi’s early Metaphysical paintings. Yet Marca-Relli’s buildings are more refined than Sironi’s, which dominate space with a (no doubt deliberate) brutishness. And Marca-Relli arranges the elements—the solids and the voids—of his urban landscapes with a subtlety that brings to mind the still lifes of Giorgio Morandi, another painter affiliated with the Metaphysical School. A frequent, even a restless traveler, Marca-Relli had visited Paris in 1947 and then traveled on to Rome. Returning to New York, he plunged into the downtown scene, joining with Kline, Philip Pavia, and others to found the Artists’ Club, on East Eighth Street. Soon he was involved in organizing the 10
Ninth Street Show, which brought the works of more than sixty artists together
and gave a generation its first comprehensive look at itself. Toward the end of 1951 he again visited Paris and Rome. By then, a relationship between his art and his travels had begun to emerge. In Europe, Marca-Relli tended to work abstractly. Returning to New York, his imagery became more figurative. In his interview with Dorothy Seckler, he said I feel that in Rome and in Italy in general . . . one of the strong things that affected me was the sense of architecture . . . I was exposed to the beauty of the space and it no doubt created in me some very strong reactions because whenever I would be back in America I would always get a feeling of loneliness for it.5 Longing for the beauty of space configured by the cities of Italy, MarcaRelli would picture not only the human form but its habitation. He would paint—or construct—architecturally. Born in Boston to Italian parents, Marca-Relli moved with them to New
Ambrogio Lorenzetti (ca. 1311–1348) Buildings in Town. Detail of The Blessings of Good Government. Mural, 1338. Palazzo Pubblico, Siena, Italy Erich Lessing/Art Resource, NY
York when he was fourteen. By then, he was deeply familiar with “the beauty of the space” shaped by classical form. His father was a news commentator and journalist whose work took him to Rome for extended stays. He brought his son to the city for the first time when the child was just two years old. Later, Marca-Relli attended school there. Growing up bilingual, he never felt the patriotic fervor that saw Abstract Expressionism as America’s victory and Europe’s defeat. In one season, he would work from that sense of the European past that had inspired the painters of the Metaphysical School and then, a season later, join with his fellow New Yorkers in remaking the premises of modernist art. Seen in isolation, the Cityscapes of 1951–52 are astonishing. Rendered in
a palette of grays at once gloomy and luminous, they are filled with a melancholy that is not mere sadness but, rather, an exalted awareness of the humanity we have shared in the cities we began to build more than five millennia ago. Charging ordinary buildings with the weight of history, these paintings are all the more remarkable when we see them against the backdrop of the New York art world in the early 1950s.6 As de Kooning, Pollock, Kline, and others tore down the European avant-garde and rebuilt it on their own terms, Marca-Relli painted a series of canvases with a direct connection to an Italian school of painting inUntitled (Cityscape), ca. 1953 oil on canvas, 51 x 53 inches (130 x 134.5 cm.)
augurated three decades earlier. And he was making his own contribution to the prevailing climate of aesthetic turmoil. In 1951, the year he painted the first of his early Cityscapes, Marca-Relli began to rethink the very idea of collage. Invented in 1912 by Picasso and Georges Braque, collage was not a very old medium by the 1950s. Nonetheless, its purpose was well-established: with bits of pasted paper—papier collé—the artist disrupts the painted surface, to remind the viewer that the image is, after all, an object. Works in this medium are usually small, to permit scraps of newsprint or wall paper or even a ticket stub to administer this subtle shock. Marca-Relli’s early collages are comparatively large. Moreover, he made them by covering the canvas with shapes also made of canvas. With no painted surface to disrupt, these collage elements simply are the surface. Marca-Relli had turned collage on its head—or created a new medium. Shaped by his feel for architecture—his “senso architettonico,” to borrow a phrase from de Chirico—Marca-Relli’s Cityscapes entangle the nostalgic intuitions of the Metaphysical School with those of an artist entirely of his
moment, one of the most adventurous of the innovators who formed the first,
postwar generation of the New York School. 7 Having turned canvas into a collage material, Marca-Relli exchanged it for vinyl and sheet metal. By 1964, he was constructing wall pieces from thick slabs of aluminum. As the 1960s ended, he mounted interlocked configurations of metal on free-standing bases. He was now a sculptor. Yet he still made collages and he continued to paint. Marca-Relli created his present by recalling his past and, in the process, transforming it. When he returned to the theme of the city in the 1970s, he built urban forms with wide strips of canvas. And he soaked some of these strips with paint. Many of these works look at first glance like abstractions: arrays of wide,
“Buildings” S-P-2-78, 1978 Collage and mixed media on canvas 28 x 34 inches (71 x 86.5 cm.)
vertical forms reaching edge-to-edge, from left to right. An architectonic impulse runs through all these images, as the title of “Buildings” S-P-2-78, 1978, helps us see. With palettes ranging from black to dusty white and dominated by shades of beige, these collages restate the premises that buildings share with two-dimensional works of art: flat surfaces delimited by straight lines and right angles. Flatness predominates. We no longer see the perspectives of the earlier
Cityscapes. Nonetheless, to watch each “façade” coming to subtly negotiated terms with its neighbors is to sense the urban spaces that infiltrate these images, and some of the darker strips of color invite us to read them as boulevards moving at a stately pace into the pictorial depths. In other Cityscapes from this period, representation is unambiguous. Patterns of small black dots signify rows of windows. In “San Miguel” S-P-13-78, 1978, we see the red, white, and blue stripes of a flag. There is another flag in
“Puerto” S-P-11-78, 1978, and in “Ville Neuve” S-P-17-78, 1978, a ring of black anchoring a patch of beige suggests a fountain in a plaza. Of course, this is only
a suggestion. Permitting very little to be certain, Marca-Relli wants our responses to be speculative, and the black-and-white striped passages that enliven so many of these works put interpretation up for grabs. Sometimes the stripes suggest pavements. Elsewhere, they might signify roofing or possibly open spaces striated by shadows. Occasionally, they look like sheer form—but never mere form, for each of these Cityscapes presents us with the architecture of a place and it is up to the viewer to see that MarcaRelli never intends this to be understood as a matter, simply, of buildings and other palpable things. For him, architecture is the play of relationships between “Cityscape” A-M-11-96, 1996, collage and mixed media on canvas, 42 x 45 3/4 inches (106.8 x 116.3 cm.)
the elements of a place, a situation, even a quickly unfolding event. Having made a few Cityscapes in the 1980s, Marca-Relli made still more in the following decade, the last of his life. Throughout his career, architecture abided, always demanding to be explicitly acknowledged. A-M-11-96, 1996, divides the city into three parts—the street below, then a row of buildings, and above them a strip of black. This image is as austere and as tautly compressed as any from the 1970s. Other late Cityscapes have an openness and thus a spatial complexity that recalls certain paintings from 1953. In certain of these late paintings, no time has passed. Their buildings could have been constructed in the 1950s. The mood is still melancholy and melancholy is still a kind of exaltation—yet it is no longer chilly. Marca-Relli gave the early
Cityscapes a gray cast, relieving it only with faint suggestions of a warming light. Four decades later, gray has become a range of glowing browns and beiges. We see these tones throughout Marca-Relli’s oeuvre. Sometimes they look like patinas, signs of time’s leisurely passage. They evoke the distant past. Yet 14
they can also be seen, on occasion, as traces of contemporary processes of
building and manufacturing. However we read Marca-Relli’s palette, its meanings unfold in the present, and what his wide-ranging sensibility tells us, perhaps, is that the present is a territory with no firm borders. To live in it fully one must be alive not only to future possibilities but also to those of the past, for history makes sense only when we reimagine it—as Marca-Relli did with his Cityscapes, images of architecture that animate the legacy of shared remembrance with the pulse of one’s own experience, vivid and immediate. — CARTER RATCLIFF 1. Dorothy Seckler, unpublished interview with Conrad Marca-Relli. June 10, 1965. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. 2. Bernard Chaet, “Collage Transformed: An Interview with Conrad Marca-Relli.” Arts, June 1956, p. 64. 3. Conrad Marca-Relli, “I remember when . . .” in Conrad Marca-Relli, Milan: Bruno Alfieri Editore, 2008, p. 50. 4. Giorgio de Chirico, “On Metaphysical Art,” 1919. Reprinted in Manifesto: A Century of Isms, ed. Mary Ann Caws, Lincoln, Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press, 2000, pp. 284–85. 5. Seckler interview. 6. That these paintings had resonance during the period is evidenced by the theme of the U.S. Pavilion at the 1956 Venice Biennale, American Artists Paint the City, an exhibition which included Marca-Relli’s New York Cityscape, La Città, 1951. 7. Giorgio de Chirico, “Il senso architettonica nella pittura antica.” Valori Plastici, nos. 5–6, May–June 1920, pp. 100–3.
Carter Ratcliff is a poet and art critic. A contributing editor of Art in America, he has received several awards for his work, including the College Art Association's 1987 Frank Jewett Mather Award for Art Criticism, a Guggenheim Fellowship, two National Endowment for the Arts' Art Critics Grants, and a Poets Foundation Grant. His writings have appeared in American and European journals and in the publications of museums including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Guggenheim in New York, and the Royal Academy in London. He has taught at the School of Visual Arts and Hunter College and has lectured at a variety of institutions, including the Whitney Museum of American Art and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Among his books are monographs on Andy Warhol, John Singer Sargent, and Georgia O'Keeffe. He is the author of The Fate of a Gesture: Jackson Pollock and Postwar American Art (1996); The Figure of the Artist (2000); and Out of the Box: The Reinvention of Art: 1965 –1975 (2000).
Marca-Relli, unidentified street scene, possibly Mexico, 1952.
A wonderful, mysterious city has been discovered by Marca-Relli. Its exact location is never revealed, yet clues place it somewhere between Hopper’s New York and de Chirico’s dream city. —Paul Brach, 1953
EXCERPT, INTERVIEW WITH CONRAD MARCA-RELLI CONDUCTED BY DOROTHY SECKLER, JUNE 10, 1965 ARCHIVES OF AMERICAN ART, SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION DOROTHY SECKLER: Resuming our discussion of your painting right after the war
we have these two different styles, the abstract and the figurative . . . both alternately developed, apparently. What was it that happened to move you into a new development which I assume synthesized these or replaced the duality? CONRAD MARCA-RELLI: I don’t think I’ve ever replaced that duality. Maybe that’s
because I was born in June and I’m a Gemini. I feel the duality very strongly in all my work and everything I do. By this time now I’ve got to it but I felt that I was always being somewhere in between; I would accept abstraction and reject it and then I would turn to an object, to a figure or to a symbol or anything and paint that. But of course even when I did figures I was never naturalistic. In other words, I
Philip Guston (1913–1980), Conrad Marca-Relli, 1960 Ink on paper, 13 7/8 x 9 7/8 inches (35 x 25 cm.)
was always searching for some other dimension and that was the challenge of it. The challenge always exists for me. The sculpture in my last shows became purer and simpler and the shapes larger and more and more, we’ll say, abstract. But many times while doing that work, I would be working on a figure for two months— simultaneously. I’d be painting on a figure as if to get some kind of oxygen in my lungs and recharge myself with some other kind of contact with a point, with a place, because I feel the problem is always the same. It’s not going to be said in five seconds—but whatever the things I feel about painting, whatever the strength, the duality, the interlocking forms, whether the kind of space I’m looking for exists— abstractly or with the figure content, it means nothing to me. In other words, the figure is brought to that solution and the abstraction is brought to the same solution whether it’s a simple shape or whether it’s a head. There’s no great difference except that it starts you off or keeps a point of departure where you can start a new problem, a new challenge.
La CittĂ , 1951, oil on canvas, 59 x 75 inches (149.9 x 190.5 cm.) Private collection, New York
STATEMENT BY CONRAD MARCA-RELLI, INCLUDED IN THE ARTICLE BY BELLE KRASNE, “CORRADO DI MARCA-RELLI—ARTIST IN THE MARGIN,” DESIGN QUARTERLY NO . 30 (1954)
I have always been interested in a kind of stillness, silence, quiet, but in the metaphysical aspects of painting rather than the surreal. I jockey between provocative subject matter and provocative space. I feel that somewhere between the two the answer lies.
My work proceeds from the imagination, in the sense of imagination as a form of retentive memory. If I were in front of nature when I painted a picture, I would fall apart. I would see too much. It would only confuse me. I want, rather, to paint scenes from memory; one remembers just the essentials without details. At first it was very difficult to do this, but I found, through a mental struggle, that I could shut my eyes and see what I wanted to paint. You know, I like to travel very much, and now I find that my mind is getting to be like a camera.
When I paint a building or a figure, I don’t really paint a building or a figure; I paint an association. I want the particular feeling of order and static quietness. I see the subject in a depressed state; a painting only works for me when it arrives at that state. The buildings, the figures—they’re all a little in an eerie light, in a world of non-reality. But that seems natural for me. I don’t seek it out.
Around 1950, I began to do non-figurative work. Later on, I felt the need to reapproach the visible world. If I start with the abstract concept, having no figurative imagery, what happens is that I can create a sense of exciting relationships, but the total image becomes something naturalistic; it assumes another imagery—
flames, leopard spots, etc. But if I start off with subject matter, my challenge is to find its abstraction on the canvas; it has to be translated; I can control it down to the hairline, and at least I know what I’m working with. If the statement ends at the right place, I think the spectator is forced to look at it in a certain way.
A year ago, I did some paintings of buildings. I had removed color from them—in the sense, that is, of working with color as form. I became more interested in light, volumes of light. The collages on which I am now working are an outgrowth of these “light” paintings. The white became much more the force, pushing out the blacks. I was working with heavier whites all the time to get a cleaner edge. And then I found it easier to just use collage, areas of primed canvas.
I feel, today, as if I’m coming out of a long, dark tunnel. I realize now that it’s a mistake for me to try to avoid the image. No matter what I’ve done, I’ve always felt compelled to return to it.
Cityscape, 1953, oil on canvas, 36 1/8 x 53 inches (92 x 135 cm.)
Cityscape, 1953, oil on canvas, 51 1/2 x 85 1/2 inches (130.8 x 217.5 cm.)
“Aram” S-P-18-78, 1978, collage and mixed media on canvas, 20 x 25 3/4 inches (50.5 x 65.5 cm.)
“Puerto” S-P-11-78, 1978, collage and mixed media on canvas, 28 x 34 inches (71.4 x 86.5 cm.)
â€œVille Neuveâ€? S-P-17-78, 1978, collage and mixed media on canvas, 28 x 34 inches (71 x 86.5 cm.)
XM-5-79, 1979, collage and mixed media on canvas, 34 3/4 x 47 1/8 inches (88.5 x 120 cm.)
P-S-24-79, 1979, collage and mixed media on canvas, 24 x 27 inches (61 x 68.5 cm.)
â€œVillageâ€? A-M-19-96, 1996, collage and mixed media on canvas, 42 x 56 inches (107 x 142 cm.)
Marca-Relli in his studio, Rome, 1957
CONRAD MARCA-RELLI (1913–2000) 1913
1930 1931 1931–34 1935–38
1940 1941 1941– 45 1945– 46 1947
Born Corrado di Marca-Relli, June 5, Boston, Massachusetts. Later, in the early 1950s, he has his name altered to Conrad Marca-Relli. He grows up bilingual and the family makes periodic journeys to Italy. Family moves permanently to New York City. Takes his first art classes, from the sculptor Onorio Ruotolo, director of the Leonardo da Vinci Art School, founded in 1923 to provide arts education for New York’s immigrant community. It is here that, in addition to his regular education, he acquires his first artistic skills. Devotes himself to painting; joins small art classes. Attends classes at the Cooper Union. Establishes his own studio, in Greenwich Village. Later he moves to a large studio on Lafayette Street. Does occasional illustrations and covers for newspapers and periodicals. Joins WPA (Works Progress Administration), first as a teacher at the Leonardo da Vinci Art School, and then creating paintings for the Federal Art Project, Easel and Mural Divisions. Friendship with Franz Kline. Travels to Mexico. First exhibition, Soldier-Artists, New York. Fights in World War II, as a GI, with the U.S. Army. Settles in Byrdcliffe, Woodstock, New York. First solo exhibition at Niveau Gallery, New York. On September 4, sails for Europe on the passenger ship “Liberté,” then continues to Paris. There he meets Milton Resnick. They are later joined by George Spaventa. Travels alone to Rome, where he has not been since the age of 14. Rents a studio on the Via Margutta in the center of the former artists’ quarter, close to the Piazza del Popolo. First showing of his work at the Galleria Il Cortile. Returns to New York. Has a studio on 9th Street. His neighbors are Franz Kline and John Ferren. Participates in the founding of the Artists’ Club. Active in the organization of the Ninth Street Show. Marriage to Anita Gibson, daughter of the Peruvian poet, Percy Gibson. Travels to Europe; short stay in Paris followed by stay in Rome; rents a studio on Via del Babuino. First meeting and friendship with Alberto Burri. Returns to New York; studio on 21st Street. Second visit to Mexico, with Fred Farr and Jane Crawford. Studio in San Miguel de Allende. His first work in collage. Returns to New York in September. Cooperates with Eleanor Ward, owner of the Stable Gallery. Assists her in selecting artists and organizing exhibitions. Organizes the Second Annual Exhibition of Painting and Sculpture (successor to the original Ninth Street Show) at the Stable Gallery.
1954–55 1956 1957
1959–60 1960 1960–67 1963 1965–67
First exhibition of his work in collage is presented at the Stable Gallery. Purchases a house in the Springs, East Hampton, New York. The Museum of Modern Art, New York, acquires Sleeping Figure, 1953–54. The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, acquires Composition, 1950. The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, acquires The Inquisitor, 1954. Receives the Logan Medal, First Prize, from The Art Institute of Chicago, for his picture, Seated Figure, 1953–54, which is acquired by the museum. Visiting critic, Yale University, New Haven. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, acquires The Battle, 1956. Included in the Venice Biennale. Lives in Rome, in Parioli, next door to the artists Afro Basaldella and Ettore Colla. Makes friends with other Italian modernist artists: Gastone Novelli, Achille Perilli, Giuseppe Capogrossi, Piero Dorazio. Organizes first exhibition in Rome featuring Abstract Expressionist artists. Solo shows in Rome and Milan. Returns to East Hampton. Visiting Professor, University of California, Berkeley. Shares a house with Afro, who is a Visiting Professor at Mills College, Oakland. Joins Samuel Kootz Gallery, New York. Included in the exhibition, The New American Painting, organized by the International Council of The Museum of Modern Art. Exhibition travels to eight venues in Europe, including the World’s Fair in Brussels. Receives Ford Foundation Grant. Included in Documenta II, Kassel, Germany, as a representative of the New York School and Abstract Expressionism. Visiting critic, Yale University. Honorable mention, Bienal de Bellas Artes, Mexico City. Detroit Institute of Arts Purchase Prize. Annual trips to Europe. Receives the Kohnstamm Award, The Art Institute of Chicago. Artist-in-residence and faculty member, The New College Fine Arts Institute, Sarasota, Florida (with Larry Rivers, James Brooks, Philip Guston, and Syd Solomon). First retrospective exhibition held at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Joins Marlborough-Gerson Gallery, New York, following the closing of Samuel Kootz Gallery. Lives and works in Paris, East Hampton, Sarasota, and Ibiza. His stays in Paris are more frequent and longer. Friendships with Pierre Soulages, Zao Wou-Ki, and Domenico Gnoli.
1975 1975 1976 1983 1988 1997 1998 2000
Leaves East Hampton and moves to New York City, on 57th Street. Builds a houseboat, which is moored on the Seine in Paris. Member, the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Returns to New York, after years spent in retreat on Ibiza and in Florida. Moves to a house with studio in New Jersey, near the George Washington Bridge. Moves to Parma, Italy. There his connection with the Galleria d’Arte Niccoli, which began in 1989, grows closer. He assigns his Archive to its care. Career retrospective at the Peggy Guggenheim Foundation, Venice, Italy. Retrospective at the Mathildenhöhe Institute, Darmstadt, Germany. Dies August 29 in Parma.
SOLO EXHIBITIONS 1947 1948 1949
1951 1953 1955 1956
1958 1959 1960
Corrado di Marca-Relli: Oils, Niveau Gallery, New York. Brochure with text by Henry Elkin and statement by the artist. Galleria Il Cortile, Rome, Italy. Galleria II Cortile. Corrado di Marca-Relli, Niveau Gallery, November 15–December 1. Catalogue with text by Henry Elkin. Recent Paintings by Corrado di Marca-Relli, The New Gallery, New York, January 9–27. Catalogue. Stable Gallery, New York, March 12–April 4. Stable Gallery. Marca-Relli: Recent Collages, Stable Gallery, November 5–December 1. Paintings, Collages, Drawings by Corrado Marca-Relli, Frank Perls Gallery, Los Angeles, California, February 20–March 17. Marca-Relli: Collages, Pitture, Galleria La Tartaruga, Rome, Italy, July– September. Catalogue. Marca-Relli, Galleria d’Arte del Naviglio, Milan, Italy, November 30– December 13. Catalogue with text by Gillo Dorfles. Marca-Relli, Stable Gallery, February 3–March 1. Marca-Relli: New Paintings, Kootz Gallery, New York, February 3–21. Catalogue with text by William Rubin. Marca-Relli: New Work, Kootz Gallery, March 29–April 16. Catalogue with text by Parker Tyler. Playhouse Gallery, Sharon, Connecticut. Marca-Relli: New Paintings, Kootz Gallery, November 14–December 2. Brochure with text by H. H. Arnason. Bolles Gallery, San Francisco, California.
1964 1965 1967
1971 1972 40
Marca-Relli, Joan Peterson Gallery, Boston, Massachusetts, April 3–29. Instituto d’Arte Contemporaneo, Lima, Peru. Galerie Schmela, Düsseldorf, Germany (with Robert Motherwell). Collages in New Materials by Marca-Relli, Kootz Gallery, December 4–22. Catalogue with text by H. H. Arnason. Conrad Marca-Relli, Galerie de France, Paris, February 9–28. Brochure. Marca-Relli, Galleria d’Arte del Naviglio. Catalogue with text by William Rubin. Conrad Marca-Relli, Galerie Charles Lienhard, Zurich, Switzerland. Catalogue with text by Paul Nizon. New Collages in Aluminum by Marca-Relli, Kootz Gallery, November 12–30. Brochure. Marca-Relli, Tokyo Gallery, Japan. Catalogue with text by Shinichi Segui. Marca-Relli: Unique Metal Relief Sculptures, Kootz Gallery, September 29–October 17. Conrad Marca-Relli: Collages, Galería Bonino, Buenos Aires, Argentina, September 3–15. Catalogue with text by Basilio Uribe. James David Gallery, Coral Gables, Florida. Conrad Marca-Relli: Painted Canvas, Collage, and Sculpture, Makler Gallery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, February 1–28. Marca-Relli, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, October 4–November 12, 1967. Traveled to Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts, December 3, 1967–January 28, 1968. Catalogue with text by William C. Agee. University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa. Alpha Gallery, Boston, Massachusetts. Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York. Reed College, Portland, Oregon. Seattle Art Museum, Washington. Conrad Marca-Relli, Marlborough-Gerson Gallery, New York, February. Catalogue with text by José Ayllon. Marca-Relli: Collage /Gottlieb: Sculpture, University of Maryland Art Gallery, College Park, October 15–November 22. Catalogue with text by Alain de Leiris and Marchal E. Landgren. Conrad Marca-Relli: Retrospective Group of Paintings, Norton Gallery and School of Art, West Palm Beach, Florida. Catalogue with text by Henry R. Hope. Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida. Galerie Schmela. Galería Carl Van der Voort, Ibiza, Spain, July 22–August 4. Conrad Marca-Relli: Paintings and Lithographs, Makler Gallery, May 1–31.
1980 1981 1982
Marca-Relli, Galería Inguanzo, Madrid, Spain, January 9–February 8. Catalogue with text by José Ayllon. Galerie Numaga, Auvernier (Neuchâtel), Switzerland, January 20–March 11. Galerie Bahlsen, Berlin, Germany. Marca-Relli, Marlborough Galerie AG, Zurich, Switzerland, January– February. Catalogue. Marca-Relli: Works from Ibiza, Marlborough Gallery, New York, February 8–March 1. Traveled to Marlborough Goddard Gallery, Toronto, Canada, March 8–29; Marlborough-Goddard Gallery, Montreal, Canada. Catalogue. Galería Carl Van der Voort. Marca-Relli, Galería Eude, Barcelona, Spain. Marca-Relli: New Constructions and Collages on Paper, Cordier & Ekstrom, New York, March 23–April 23. Catalogue. Gibson y Marca-Relli, Galería Fred Lanzenberg, Ibiza, Spain, August 13–27. Carone Gallery, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Marca-Relli: Obra Recent, Galería Joan Prats, Barcelona, Spain. FebruaryMarch. Catalogue with text by Santiago Amón. Conrad Marca-Relli: The Early Years: 1955–1962, Marlborough Gallery, February 3–27. Catalogue. Marca-Relli: Collage and Sculptures, 1950–1978, Museum of Art, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, February 6–25. Catalogue with text by Henry R. Hope and George S. Bolge. Marca-Relli, John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota, Florida, November 6, 1979–January 1, 1980. Catalogue with text by Elayne H. Varian and Henry H. Hope. Marca-Relli, Hokin Gallery, Chicago, Illinois, October 25–December 6. Marca-Relli: Collages and Multiples, Steven Rosendahl Gallery, Naples, Florida, March 1–28. Conrad Marca-Relli: Selected Collages, Phoenix II Gallery, Washington, D.C., April 20–May 15. G.M.B. Gallery, Birmingham, Michigan. Conrad Marca-Relli: Homage to La Belle Époque—New Works, Alex Rosenberg Gallery, New York, October 5–31. Catalogue with text by B. H. Friedman. Marca-Relli: New Works, Marisa del Re Gallery, New York, March-April. Catalogue with text by David L. Shirey. Marca-Relli: Ultimate Imagery, R.H. Love Modern, Chicago, Illinois, July 12–September 3. Marca-Relli, Marisa del Re Gallery. Catalogue with text by Sam Hunter. Marca-Relli: Three Decades of Collage, Marisa del Re Gallery, September 22–October 17.
1991 1996 1998 2000
2001 2002 2004 2004–05
Conrad Marca-Relli: Paintings from the 1950s, Marisa del Re Gallery. November 16–December 9. Catalogue with text by Harold Rosenberg. Marca-Relli, Galleria d’Arte Niccoli, Parma, Italy, October 6–November 26. Catalogue with text by Dore Ashton. Marca-Relli: Four Decades of Collage, Riva Yares Gallery, Scottsdale, Arizona, January 11–February 8. Catalogue with text by Douglas Webster. Marca-Relli: Small Scale Collage Paintings of the 1950s and 1960s, Vanderwoude Tananbaum Gallery, New York, November 1–December 15. Conrad Marca-Relli: A Selection, Marisa del Re Gallery, October 15– November 9. Marca-Relli: Collages in Black & White, 1958 –1996, Vered Gallery, East Hampton, New York. Catalogue with text by B. H. Friedman. Omaggio a Conrad Marca-Relli, Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, Italy, September 5–24. Catalogue with essay by Luca Massimo Barbero. Conrad Marca-Relli: Works 1945–1996, Institut Mathildenhöhe, Darmstadt, Germany, March 12–May 1. Catalogue with text by Klaus Wolbert, Inge Hacker, Anja Hespelt, et al. Conrad Marca-Relli: Canvas Collages, Washburn Gallery, New York, May 3–June 29. Marca-Relli: l’amico americano—sintonie e dissonanze con Afro e Burri, Galleria d’Arte Niccoli, May 18–July 20. Marco Vallora, curator. Catalogue. Washburn Gallery. Marca-Relli: Tensioni Composte (Composite Tensions), Galleria Open Art, Prato, Italy, October 30, 2004–January 8, 2005. Catalogue with essay by Bruno Corà. Marca-Relli: Mostra antologica, Lagorio Arte Contemporanea, Brescia, Italy, March 25–June 17. Catalogue with essays by Massimo Tantardini, Giampiero Mughini, and Giuseppe Niccoli. Conrad Marca-Relli: Protagonista dell’Espressionismo Astratto Americano, Rotonda della Besana, Milan, Italy, July 15–September 28. Catalogue with essay by David Anfam. Conrad Marca-Relli: The New York Years 1945–1967, Knoedler & Company, New York, September 12–November 14. Catalogue with essay by Jasper Sharp. Conrad Marca-Relli: City to Town, Knoedler & Company, May 5–July 29. Catalogue with essay by Carter Ratcliff. Conrad Marca-Relli: The Springs Years, 1953–1956, Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center, East Hampton, New York, May 5–July 30. Catalogue with essay by Carter Ratcliff.
SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS 1941 1950 1951 1953
Soldier-Artists, Contemporary Arts Gallery, New York. Abstraction Today, The New Gallery. Ninth Street Exhibition of Painting and Sculpture, 60 Ninth Street, New York, May 21–June 10. Second Annual Exhibition of Painting and Sculpture, Stable Gallery, New York. American Art Annual, Whitney Museum of American Art. Third Annual Exhibition of Painting and Sculpture, Stable Gallery, January 27–February 20. Annual Exhibition, The Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois. Fourth Annual Exhibition of Painting and Sculpture, Stable Gallery, April 26–May 21. Contemporary American Painting and Sculpture, University of Illinois, Urbana. Catalogue edited by A.S. Weller, with statement by the artist. Pittsburgh International Exhibition, Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. American Art Annual, Whitney Museum of American Art. Fifth Annual Exhibition of Painting and Sculpture, Stable Gallery, May 22–June 16. American Art Annual, Whitney Museum of American Art. American Artists Paint the City: XXVIII Biennale Internazionale d’Arte, Venice, Italy (United States Pavilion, organized by The Art Institute of Chicago). Catalogue with essay by Katharine Kuh. Sixth Annual Exhibition of Painting and Sculpture, Stable Gallery, May 7–June 1. American Art Annual, Whitney Museum of American Art. American Paintings 1945–1957, The Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minnesota. Catalogue with text by Stanton L. Catlin. Rome-New York Art Foundation, Isola Tiberina, Rome, Italy. American Art, Brussels Universal and International Exhibition, Belgium. Annual Exhibition, The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia. Contemporary Art Acquisitions 1957–1958, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York. The 1958 Pittsburgh Bicentennial International Exhibition of Contemporary Painting and Sculpture, Carnegie Institute. Art of a New Era: USA, Japan, Europe, International Osaka Festival, Japan. Catalogue with text by Michel Tapié. Galleria La Tartaruga. 43
American National Exhibition, Moscow, Russia. V Bienal, Estados Unidos, Museu de Arte Moderna, São Paulo, Brazil. Catalogue with text by Sam Hunter. Documenta II, Kassel, Germany (organized by The Museum of Modern Art, New York). American Art Annual, Whitney Museum of American Art. Giovanni Pittori Americani, Isola Tiberina, Rome. Arte Nuova—Esposizione Internazionale di Pittura e Scultura, Circolo degli Artisti, Palazzo Graneri, Turin, Italy. Catalogue edited by Michel Tapié and Luciano Pistoi. Segunda Bienal Interamericana de México, Mexico City. Paths of Abstract Art, The Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio. Catalogue edited by Edward B. Henning. 60 American Painters: Abstract Expressionist Painting of the Fifties, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis. Catalogue edited by H. H. Arnason. Contemporary American Painting, Columbus Gallery of Fine Arts, Ohio. Catalogue with text by Tracy Atkinson. Annual Exhibition, The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. Undici americani, Galleria dell’Ariete, Milan, Italy. Catalogue with text by Guido Ballo. American Abstract Expressionists and Imagists, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. Catalogue with text by H. H. Arnason and Harry F. Gaugh. News, Baltimore Museum of Art, Maryland. The Art of Assemblage, The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Catalogue with text by William Seitz. Annual Exhibition, The Art Institute of Chicago. Pittsburgh International Exhibition, Carnegie Institute. American Art Annual, Whitney Museum of American Art. Contemporary American Painting and Sculpture, University of Illinois, Urbana. Catalogue edited by Allen S. Weller. Summer Exhibition, University of Colorado, Boulder. Art Since 1950, World’s Fair, Seattle, Washington. Annual Exhibition, The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. BSN Nigata Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan. Abstrakte Amerikanische Malerei, Darmstadt Hessisches Landesmuseum, Germany. Selections from the Dana Collection, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston. Catalogue with text by S. M. Thurmann. 66th Annual American Exhibition—Directions in Contemporary Painting
and Sculpture, The Art Institute of Chicago. Catalogue with text by James A. Speyer. American Art Annual, Whitney Museum of American Art. Contemporary American Painting and Sculpture, University of Illinois, Urbana. Catalogue with text by Allen S. Weller. De A à Z: 31 peintres Américains choisis par The Art Institute of Chicago, Centre Culturel Américain, Paris, France, May 10–June 20. Catalogue with text by John Maxon and James A. Speyer. The 28th Biennial Exhibition of Contemporary American Art, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. New Directions in American Painting, The Poses Institute of Fine Art, Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts. Catalogue edited by Sam Hunter. Pittsburgh International Exhibition, Carnegie Institute. American Art Annual, Whitney Museum of American Art. Between the Fairs—25 Years of American Art, 1939–1964, Whitney Museum of American Art. Catalogue with text by John I. H. Baur. The 29th Biennial Exhibition of Contemporary American Art, Corcoran Gallery of Art. Annual Exhibition, The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. American Art Annual, Whitney Museum of American Art. Exhibition of Paintings, Ringling Museum of Art. The Virgil Barker Memorial Collection of American Art, The University of Miami, Florida. Art of the United States, Whitney Museum of American Art. American Art Annual, Whitney Museum of American Art. Abstract Expressionism: A Continuing Tradition, J. L. Hudson Gallery, Detroit, Michigan. Guston, Marca-Relli, Rosati, Colby College, Waterville, Maine. Selections 1967: Recent Acquisitions in Modern Art, University Art Museum, University of California, Berkeley. Catalogue with text by Peter Selz and Nora Selz. Recent Acquisitions in Modern Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. (White House Rotating Exhibition). Art in Process: The Visual Development of a Collage, American Federation of the Arts, New York. Pittsburgh International Exhibition, Carnegie Institute. Signals in the Sixties, Honolulu Academy of Art, Hawaii. Catalogue with text by James Johnson Sweeney. Dorazio, Marca-Relli, Pasmore, Arts and Crafts Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. International Sculpture, Galleria Marlborough, Rome.
1968–69 1969 1970
1971 1972 1974 1975 1976 1979
1986–87 1987 1988 1991 1994
American Painting: The 1950s, American Federation of the Arts. Traveling. American Art Annual, Whitney Museum of American Art. American Drawings of the Sixties, New School Art Center, New York. Artists of Suffolk County: The Abstract Tradition, Heckscher Museum of Art, Huntington, New York. Trends in Twentieth-Century Art, Art Gallery of the University of California, Santa Barbara. American Artists of the 1960s, Boston University, Massachusetts. II Bienal de Arte Coltejer, Medellin, Colombia. American Painting 1970, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond. Collages by American Artists, Art Gallery, Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana. Amerikanische abstrakte Malerei, Galerie Marlborough, Zurich, Switzerland. Twelve American Painters, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Catalogue with text by W. Gaines. Richard Brown Baker Collects, Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut. Catalogue. Artists and East Hampton, Guild Hall Museum, East Hampton, New York. Born in Boston: Sixteen Prominent Artists Who Were Raised in the Boston Area Who Developed Their Careers Elsewhere, De Cordova Museum, Lincoln, Massachusetts, February 18–April 22. Catalogue with text by Jeffrey Deitch. 17 Abstract Artists of East Hampton: The Pollock Years 1946–1956, Guild Hall Museum. Traveled to The Parrish Art Museum, Southampton, New York. Catalogue with text by Virginia M. Zabriskie and Dore Ashton. East Hampton /New York, Guild Hall Museum. Catalogue with text by Eloise Spaeth and Enez Whipple. Five from the Hamptons: Jimmy Ernst, Balcomb Greene, Ibram Lassaw, Conrad Marca-Relli, Syd Solomon, Harmon-Meek Gallery, Naples, Florida, March 13–26. Catalogue with text by Alice Nash. Elders of the Tribe, Bernice Steinbaum Gallery, New York. Preview 1988, Corbino Galleries, Sarasota, Florida, December 4–19. Black and White, Marisa del Re Gallery. Catalogue with text by Sam Hunter and Marisa del Re. La più della Gallerìa d’Italia, Fortezza da Basso, Florence, Italy. Reclaiming Artists of the New York School: Toward a More Inclusive View of the 1950s, Sidney Mishkin Gallery, Baruch College, City University of New York. Catalogue with text by Sandra Kraskin. Expressionismo Abstracto, Centro Cultural/ Arte Contemporaneo, Mexico City. Catalogue with text by Irving Sandler.
1997 1998 2005
Trash: From Junk to Art, Museo di Trento Rovereto, Trento, Italy. Un Art Autre, Toulouse, France. Catalogue with text by Michel Tapié. Anteprima, Palazzo Magnani, Reggio Emilia, Italy. Burri—gli artisti e la materia, 1945–2004, Scuderie del Quirinale, Rome, Italy. Catalogue with text by Maurizio Calvesi. Prima di Burri e con Burri, Palazzi Vitelli alla Cannoniera, Città di Castello, Italy. Action Painting, Galleria Civica, Modena, Italy. Afro e Italia-America, Incontri e Confronti, Chiesa di San Francesco, Udine/Palazzo Ricchieri, Pordenone, Italy. Text by Luciano Caramel and Francesco Tedeschi. L’Arte e La Tartaruga—Omaggio a Plinio De Martiis, Museo d’arte Moderno Vittoria Colonna, Pescara, Italy. Catalogue with text by Silvia Pegoraro. Piero Manzoni, Museo d’Arte Contemporaneo Donna Regina (MADRE), Naples, Italy. Collage-Collages 1912 /1963, Galleria civica d’arte moderna e contemporanea (GAM), Turin, Italy. Abstract Expressionism and Other Modern Works: The Muriel Kallis Steinberg Newman Collection in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, September 18, 2007–February 3, 2008. Catalogue edited by Gary Tinterow, Lisa Mintz Messinger, and Nan Rosenthal, with text on Marca-Relli by Pepe Karmel. New York Cool: Painting and Sculpture from the NYU Art Collection, Grey Art Gallery, New York University, New York, April 22–July 19, 2008; traveled to Palmer Museum of Art, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, September 16–December 14, 2008; University of Iowa Museum of Art, Iowa City, January 17–March 15, 2009; Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, Maine, April 17–July 19, 2009; Hunter Museum of American Art, Chattanooga, Tennessee, August 23–October 25, 2009. Catalogue with text by Lynn Gumpert, Pepe Karmel, Lytle Shaw, and Alexandra Lange. Manzoni: A Retrospective, Gagosian Gallery, New York, January 24– March 21. Catalogue with text by Germano Celant and Cecilia Scatturin. Abstract Expressionism: Further Evidence (Part One: Painting), Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, New York, March 14–July 31. Catalogue. The Sweeney Decade: Acquisitions of the 1959 Inaugural, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, June 5–September 2. Selected Works by Gallery Artists, Knoedler & Company, December 3– February 13.
Joan Altbe. “Marca-Relli,” Sarasota Herald Tribune (September 13, 1987). Bruce Altshuler. The Avant-Garde in Exhibition: New Art in the 20th Century (Harry N. Abrams, New York, 1994). Bruce Altshuler, ed. Salon to Biennial—Exhibitions That Made Art History, Volume I: 1863–1959 (Phaidon, New York and London, 2008). Santiago Amón. Marca-Relli 1976–1978 (Ediciones Polígrafa, S.A., Barcelona, ca. 1978). David Anfam, Magdalena Dabrowski, et al. Conrad Marca-Relli (Bruno Alfieri Editore, Milan, 2008). Anonymous. “Reviews and Previews: Corrado di Marca-Relli,” Art News (April 1947). _____. “Fifty-six Painters and Sculptors: Conrad Marca-Relli,” Art in America (August 1964). _____. “Painting, Action from the Gluepot,” Time (October 20, 1967). _____. “Special Exhibitions,” Art Journal (Fall 1970). H[jorvardur] H[arvard] Arnason. Marca-Relli (Abrams, New York, 1963). _____. Marca-Relli (Edizioni d’Arte Fratelli Pozzo, Turin, 1971). Dore Ashton. “About Art and Artists,” The New York Times (March 22, 1956). _____. “About Art and Artists,” The New York Times (November 8, 1956). _____. “Art,” Arts and Architecture (January 1957). _____. “Art: Collage Paintings,” The New York Times (February 6, 1958). _____. “Art,” Arts and Architecture (April 1959). Kenneth Baker. “Conrad Marca-Relli: A talented—but overlooked—New York School painter,“ Art & Auction (March 2007). L. Baldrighi. “I ‘collage’ astratti del solitario Marca-Relli,” Il Giornale (September 10, 1998). Luca Massimo Barbero, et al. Conrad Marca-Relli (Electa, Milan, 1998). Ruth Bass. “Conrad Marca-Relli,” Art News (October 1983). Jane Bell. “Conrad Marca-Relli,” Arts Magazine (April 1975). Paul Brach. “57th Street: Corrado di Marca-Relli,” Art Digest (March 15, 1953). Phyllis Braff. “Art: Collages in Color and Black and White,” The New York Times (June 30, 1996). Arlene Bujese, ed. Twenty-five Artists (University Publications of America, 1980). Text by Thomas M. Messer, Harold Rosenberg. Mauricio Calvesi. “Alberto Burri e il mutamenti dell’arte,” in Burri—gli artisti e la materia, 1945–2004 (Scuderie del Quirinale, Rome, 2005). Lawrence Campbell. “Reviews and Previews: Marca-Relli,” Art News (November 1964). John Canaday. “Art: Marca-Relli Retrospective at the Whitney,” The New York Times (October 11, 1967). Stanton L. Catlin. “Reviews and Previews: Marca-Relli,” Art News (January 1951). G. Cavazzini. “Tre maestri, una mostra,” Gazzetta di Parma (May 18, 2002). Bernard Chaet. “Studio Talk: Collage Transformed: Interview with Corrado MarcaRelli,” Arts Magazine (June 1959).
_____. Artists at Work (Webb Books, Inc., Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1960). Phyllis Derfner. “New York Letter,” Art International (April 20, 1975). E. Di Martino. “Marca-Relli, originalità di segni e colori, Gazzettino del Lunedi (September 7, 1998). M.-L. Mastai D’Orange. “The Connoisseur in America: Cloutage: A New Art Form,” The Connoisseur (April and July 1963). Natalie Edgar. “Reviews and Previews: Conrad Marca-Relli,” Art News (January 1964). _____. “Reviews and Previews: Conrad Marca-Relli,” Art News (February 1970). Natalie Edgar, ed. Club Without Walls: Selections from the Journals of Philip Pavia (Midmarch Arts Press, New York, 2007). Sarah C. Faunce. “Reviews and Previews: Conrad Marca-Relli,” Art News (December 1962). Rachele Ferrario. “Conrad Marca-Relli: Grande esponente del’espressionismo astratto Americano, Arte, Venice (August-September 1998). _____. “Tensione senza confine nell’opera di Marca-Relli,” Lombardia oggi, Beilage Prealpina (September 13, 1998). _____. “Vissi d’arte, Vissi di viaggi,” Arte (August-September 1998). James Fitzsimmons. “Fifty-seventh Street in Review: Corrado di Marca-Relli,” Art Digest (January 15, 1951). _____. “Art,” Arts and Architecture (April 1953). B[ernard] H[arper] Friedman. “Homage to la Belle Epoque: Conrad Marca-Relli’s New Work,” Arts Magazine (October 1983). Rosamund Frust. “The Passing Shows: Soldier-Artists,” Art News (October 1–14, 1941). Otis Gage (Sidney Geist). “Art,” Arts and Architecture (May 1955). Harry F. Gaugh. “Monographs,” Art in America (May-June 1977). Henry Geldzahler. New York Painting and Sculpture: 1940–1970 (Dutton, New York, in association with The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1969). Eric Gibson. “New York Letter: Conrad Marca-Relli,” Art International (April 1979). Daniel Giralt-Mircle. Marca-Relli (Polígrafa, Barcelona, 1976). Preface by Harold Rosenberg. Grace Glueck. “Art Notes: Every Painting is a Failure,” The New York Times (October 8, 1967). _____. “Art: When Americans Were Painting in Venice,” The New York Times (October 21, 1983). Robert Goodnough. “Reviews and Previews: Marca-Relli,” Art News (March 1953). Daniel Grant. “Interest on the Rise for Marca-Relli’s Abstract Paintings,” Artnewsletter (September 22, 2009). E. Guernica. “Los collages de Marca-Relli,” Gazeta del Arte (1976). George Heard Hamilton. “Painting in Contemporary America,” Burlington Magazine (May 1960). Edward B. Henning. “Exhibition, Paths of Abstract Art,” The Bulletin of the Cleveland Museum of Art (October 1960).
Gerrit Henry. “New York Reviews: Conrad Marca-Relli,” Art News (Summer 1977). Marika Herskovic, ed. New York School Abstract Expressionists: Artists Choice by Artists: A Complete Documentation of the New York School Painting and Sculpture Annuals: 1951–1957 (New York School Press, Franklin Lakes, New Jersey, 2000). Sam Hunter. American Art of the 20th Century (Abrams, New York, 1972). R. Jacobs. “Marca-Relli, Brooks, Carone,” Art Aujourd’hui (July 1958). Harriet Janis and Rudi Blesh. Collage: Personalities, Concepts, Techniques (Chilton Co., Philadelphia, 1962). Donald Judd. “In the Galleries: Conrad Marca-Relli,” Arts Magazine (May 1960). _____. “In the Galleries: Conrad Marca-Relli,” Arts Magazine (November 1964). Richard Kalina. “Exhibition Reviews: Conrad Marca-Relli,” Art in America (December 2009). Gladys Shafran Kashdin. Abstract Expressionism: An Analysis of the Movement based primarily upon Interviews with Seven Participating Artists Ph. D. Diss. Florida State University, Gainesville, 1965. Michael Kimmelman. “Conrad Marca-Relli, Collagist and Painter, is Dead at 87,” The New York Times (August 31, 2000). Max Kozloff. “New York Letter,” Art International (March 1962). Belle Krasne. “Fifty-seventh Street in Review: Surrealism Gets a New Twist,” Art Digest (November 15, 1949). ____. “Corrado di Marca-Relli: Artist in the Margin,” Design Quarterly (1954). Statement by the artist. Jack Kroll. “Reviews and Previews: Conrad Marca-Relli,” Art News (December 1961). Ermanno Krumm. “Conrad e il moderno scudo di Achille,” Corriere della Sera, Milan (September 14, 1998). Katharine Kuh. “New Talents U.S.A.—Three Collages: Vestibule; Seated Figure; Inquisitor,” Art in America (February 1956). Donald Kuspit. “Patching It Over,” Artnet Magazine (September 30, 2009). Ann Landi. “Conrad Marca-Relli: Knoedler & Company,” Art News (November 2009). Julien Levi. Modern Art: An Introduction (Pitman Publishing, New York, 1961). Fausto Lorenzi. “Marca-Relli tra due sponde,” Giornale di Brescia (September 21, 1998). _____. “Quando il colore sta sotto la tela,” Giornale di Brescia (March 31, 2006). Ellen Mandelbaum. “The Figure in the Center,” Art News (September 1967). Helga Meister. “Marca-Relli,” Düsseldorfer Nachtrichten (December 2, 1971). Forrest Moses. “Arts Reviews: Conrad Marca-Relli,” Arts Magazine (June 1977). Giampiero Mughini. “Marca-Relli—Visioni d’insieme,” StileArte (April 2006). Mario Naves. “Conrad Marca-Relli: The New York Years 1945–1967,” City Arts (November 2009). Cindy Nemser. “In the Galleries: Conrad Marca-Relli at Marlborough-Gerson,” Arts Magazine (February 1970).
Brian O’Doherty. “Art: Change Combines With Growth,” The New York Times (November 17, 1961). _____. “Three Artists: Getting In and Out of Corners,” The New York Times (November 17, 1963). Craig Olson. “Conrad Marca-Relli: The New York Years, 1945–1967,” The Brooklyn Rail (October 2009). Addison Franklin Page. “A Contemporary American Collage,” Bulletin of the Detroit Institute of Arts (1958–59). James Panero. “Gallery Chronicle,” The New Criterion (October 2009). G. Papi. “Finalmente Marca-Relli è uscito dall’ombra,” Avvenire (September 13, 1998). Achille Perilli. Civiltà delle macchine (Rome, 1958). _____. “Conrad il mohicano,” Il Diario (September 23, 1998). _____. “Un espressionista in incognito,” Gioia (October 3, 1998). Mariano Plannes. “Conrad Marca-Relli: la pintura como problema,” Diario de Ibiza (May 31, 1978). Stuart Preston. “Art Shows Afford Diverse Interests,” The New York Times (January 13, 1951). _____. “Current and Forthcoming Exhibitions: New York,” Burlington Magazine (April 1959). _____. “Current and Forthcoming Exhibitions: New York,” Burlington Magazine (May 1960). _____. “A Square World,” The New York Times (October 4, 1964). N. Pulliero. “Riflettori su Marca-Relli,” Brescia Oggi, L’Arena, and Giornale di Vicenza (September 18, 1998). M. Puricelli. “Jack Lang inaugura Marca-Relli,” Il Mattino di Padova (September 5, 1998). Carter Ratcliff. “Conrad Marca-Relli: The Early Years,” Arts Magazine (February 1979). Vivien Raynor. “Marca-Relli,” The New York Times (April 5, 1985). Judith Kaye Reed. “57th Street in Review: Seeds of Fantasy,” Art Digest (April 15, 1947). Mabel Martin Reisz. Three Conceptual Approaches to Collage: A Comparative Analysis of the Works of Marca-Relli, Burri, and Vicente, M.A. Thesis, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, 1965. Barbara Rose. “New York Letter: Around the Galleries,” Art International (November 25, 1964). Robert Rosenblum. “Art: Contemporary Collage,” Architectural Digest (May 1995). William Rubin. “Arshile Gorky, Surrealism, and the New American Painting,” Art International (February 25, 1963). Karl Ruhrberg. Alfred Schmela: Galerist, Wegbereiter der Avantgarde (Wienand, Cologne, ca. 1996). Irving Sandler. “Reviews and Previews: Conrad Marca-Relli,” Art News (February 1959). _____. “Reviews and Previews: Conrad Marca-Relli,” Art News (May 1960). Martica Sawin. “Fortnight in Review: Corrado di Marca-Relli,” Art Digest (March 15, 1955).
_____. “In the Galleries: Marca-Relli,” Arts Magazine (February 1959). James Schuyler. “Corrado di Marca-Relli,” Art News (February 1958). _____. “In the Galleries: Marca-Relli,” Art Digest (February 1958). Dorothy Gees Seckler. Taped interview with Marca-Relli, June 10, 1965. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Unpublished transcript. Roger Shattuck. “The Art of Assemblage: A Symposium,” in Essays on Assemblage (Studies in Modern Art 2), John Elderfield, ed. (The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1992). Robert Shuster. “Best in Show Recommendations: Conrad Marca-Relli,” The Village Voice (September 23–29, 2009). Gabriele Simongini. “Dal Caffè Rosati all’atelier, amici per la pelle,” Il Tempo (July 29, 2002). Roberta Smith. “The Shock of the New, 50 Years On,” The New York Times (July 10, 2009). R. Soler. “Marca-Relli,” Gazeta del Arte (1974). Claudio Spadoni. “Marca-Relli, l’americano venuto dal Rinascimento,” Il Giorno, Il Resto del Carlino, and La Nazione (September 17, 1998). Bonnie Barrett Stretch. “Reviews: Conrad Marca-Relli,” Art News (January 1992). Michel Tapié. Morphologie Autre (Turin, 1960). Michel Tapié and Fratelli Pozzo. Gutai 8: L’aventure Informelle (S. Shimamoto, Nishinomiya, Japan, 1957). Sidney Tillim. “In the Galleries: Conrad Marca-Relli,” Arts Magazine (January 1962). _____. “In the Galleries: Conrad Marca-Relli,” Arts Magazine (January 1964). Parker Tyler. “Reviews and Previews: Corrado di Marca-Relli,” Art News (April 1955). _____. “Marca-Relli Pastes a Painting,” Art News (November 1955). _____. “Corrado Marca-Relli,” Prisme des Arts (October 1956). _____. “Four Recommended for November: Corrado Marca-Relli Stately Collages,” Art News (November 1956). _____. Marca-Relli, The Pocket Museum (Paris: Editions Georges Fall, 1960). Paolo Vagheggi. “Torna in Italia l’amico di Burri,” La Repubblica (August 24, 1998). _____. “Irascibile, astratto Marca-Relli, fra tradizione europea e le avanguardie USA,” Il Mattino di Padova (September 3, 1998). _____. “Marca-Relli, la pittura del contrasto,” Messagero Veneto (September 5, 1998). Marco Vallora. “Marca-Relli, nomade fra due continenti,” La Stampa (September 7, 1998). _____. “. . . e il resto dell’arte non conta per loro,” in Action Painting: Arte Americana 1940–1970 (Peggy Guggenheim Collection with American Contemporary Art Gallery, Monaco, ca. 2004). L. Vergine. “Un architetto del collage,” Il Manifesto, Milan (September 19, 1998). Angela Vettese. “Antologica di Marca-Relli a Venezia,” Secolo d’Italia (September 6, 1998).
_____. “Tra azione e riflessione,” Il sole 24 ore (September 6, 1998). Emilio Villa. “Pittura di Marca-Relli,” Arti Visive 3–4 (1955). Bitite Vinklers. “New York,” Art International (April 1970). Marjorie Welish. “Accumulation,” The New York Observer (October 26, 2009). Allen S. Weller. “Chicago: 61st American Annual,” Art Digest (November 1, 1954). Allen S. Weller and Randolph Barr. Art USA Now (C.J. Bucher, Ltd., Lucerne, 1962). Roland H. Wiegenstein. “Ein Italo-Amerikaner,” Frankfurther Rundschau (September 19, 1998). Barbara Zucker. “New York Reviews: Conrad Marca-Relli,” Art News (April 1975).
PUBLIC COLLECTIONS Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York Allentown Art Museum, Pennsylvania The Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, California The Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin Boca Raton Museum of Art, Florida Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania The Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio Colby College Museum of Art, Waterville, Maine Denver Art Museum, Colorado Detroit Institute of Arts, Michigan The Empire State Plaza Art Collection, Albany, New York Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, New York Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, Massachusetts Galleria d’Arte moderno e contemporanea (GAMEC), Bergamo, Italy Grey Art Gallery, New York University Art Collection Guggenheim Bilbao, Spain Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, Italy Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Georgia Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C. Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indiana Jersey City Museum, New Jersey The Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, The University of Oklahoma, Norman Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, St. Louis, Missouri Kresge Art Museum, East Lansing, Michigan Los Angeles County Museum of Art, California Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida
MacKenzie Art Gallery, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester, New York The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York James A. Michener Art Museum, Doylestown, Pennsylvania Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minnesota Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute, Utica, New York Museu dâ€™Art Contemporani (MACBA), Barcelona, Spain Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany Museum of Art and Archeology, University of Missouri-Columbia The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas The Museum of Modern Art, New York National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase College, State University of New York Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia Portland Art Museum, Oregon John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota, Florida The Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts Sammlung Reinhard Onnasch, Berlin, Germany San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, California Seattle Art Museum, Washington Sheldon Museum of Art, Lincoln, Nebraska Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C. Telfair Museum of Art, Savannah, Georgia The University of Michigan Museum of Art, Ann Arbor University of Nebraska Art Galleries, Lincoln Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, Connecticut Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota Whitney Museum of American Art, New York Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Knoedler & Company is proud and honored to present, in collaboration with Archivio Marca-Relli, the exhibition, Conrad-Marca-Relli: City to Town. For their steadfast dedication to championing the art and legacy of Conrad Marca-Relli, I wish to praise and deeply thank the Archivio Marca-Relli: Giuseppe, Roberto and, especially, Marco Niccoli. Without Marco’s foresight, energy, care, and thoughtfulness, the concurrent exhibitions at Knoedler and the Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center would not have been possible. In addition to the Niccoli family, whose warmth and hospitality have been exemplary, Knoedler extends its gratitude to Anita Gibson Marca-Relli; Galleria d’Arte Niccoli: Cecilia Dealessi; The Grenfell Press: Leslie Miller; Trifolio: Massimo Tonolli; and Apice Milano/Panzironi Art Transport, Milano. The dual publication accompanying the exhibitions Conrad Marca-Relli: City
to Town at Knoedler & Company and Conrad Marca-Relli: The Springs Years, 1953 –1956, presented at the Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center, has been generously supported by the Archivio Marca-Relli, Parma. I am very grateful to Carter Ratcliff for his lucid appraisal of the scope of MarcaRelli’s achievement, and for sensitively bringing together, in tandem essays, the core and unifying concerns found in the artist’s work. In this unique endeavor, in addition to Marco Niccoli, we have been fortunate for the involvement of another highly engaged collaborator. Helen A. Harrison, Director of the Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center, has been accommodating in spirit and thoroughly gracious in sharing her considerable knowledge. I wish to thank all of my Knoedler colleagues for their steady efforts and timely contributions in bringing this project and publication to fruition. Finally, I am most grateful to Michael A. Hammer, Chairman of Knoedler & Company, for his ongoing support. — FRANK DEL DEO, DIRECTOR
Published on the occasion of the exhibition CONRAD MARCA-RELLI CITY TO TOWN May 5–July 29, 2011 Knoedler & Company 19 East 70 Street, New York, New York 10021 Tel 212 794-0550 Fax 212 772-6932 www.knoedlergallery.com Catalogue designed by The Grenfell Press, New York Printed by Trifolio, Verona, Italy All artworks copyright © Archivio Marca-Relli, Parma Essay copyright © 2011 Carter Ratcliff Publication copyright © 2011 Knoedler & Company All rights reserved Cover: “Cityscape” A-M-10-96, 1996, collage and mixed media on canvas, 48 1/2 x 53 inches (123.5 x 135 cm.) Frontispiece: Cityscape, 1953, oil on “faesite” board 30 1/4 x 35 inches (77 x 89 cm.) Published in an edition of 2000 ISBN 978-0-9834365-0-8 Special thanks to the following sponsors for their generous support:
Knoedler & Company E S TA B L I S H E D 1 8 4 6
19 E AST 70 S TREET N EW Y ORK N EW Y ORK 10021 TEL 212 794-0550 FAX 212 772-6932 W W W . K N O E D L E R G A L L E R Y. C O M
Published on May 1, 2011
Conrad Marca-Relli City to Town MAY 5–JULY 29, 2011 ESSAY BY CARTER RATCLIFF IN ASSOCIATION WITH ARCHIVIO MARCA-RELLI, PARMA Knoedler & Comp...