Record price for Swiss artist Fritz Glarner - Painting sold at Sotheby's London to benefit the acquisitions fund of MOMA, New York
Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale
Record Price for a Work by Swiss Artist Fritz Glarner
Sale to benefit the Acquisitions Fund of the
Museum of Modern Art, New York
London/Zurich, 20th of June 2019 – A new auction record for Swiss artist Fritz Glarner (1899 – 1972) was set during yesterday’s evening auction of Impressionist and Modern Art at Sotheby’s in London.
Glarner’s Relational Painting, Nr. 60, which had been on view at the Museum of Modern Art, New York (MOMA) for the past 36 years, achieved a record £759,000 / $953,759 (est. £450,000-650,000).
Speaking after the sale, Caroline Lang – Chairman of Sotheby’s Switzerland, Deputy Chairman Europe and Chairman, Modern and Contemporary Art, commented, “Everything about this work suggested that it could be a record-breaking painting: a reference not only in terms of Glarner’s oeuvre but indeed in the history of Constructivist art, it had never before appeared at auction and also stood out for its exceptional provenance. During his lifetime, Glarner was an influential figure in the international avant-garde and last night’s result is further testament to the universal appeal of his work.”
Relational Painting, No. 60 formed part of an exceptional group of works from the celebrated Riklis Collection, which was gifted to the Museum of Modern Art in 1983 by the McCrory Corporation. From the early 1970s onwards and with support from Meshulam Riklis, the New York-based McCrory Corporation built one of the world’s finest collections of Constructivist art, including works ranging from Russian Constructivism, Cubism and Futurism, to Minimalist Art from the 1960s. As part of this remarkable collection, Relational Painting, No. 60 was featured in a number of exhibitions of Constructivist art in Europe, the United States and Asia. The title of the work was born of Glarner’s desire to find an English equivalent for “Peinture Relative”, and in late 1946, he decided on the term “Relational Painting”, which he retrospectively applied to certain earlier paintings and all those which followed. The term was in keeping with his style of abstract painting, which focused on the relationship between geometric shapes and areas of bold colour.
The funds raised from the sale of the painting will benefit the acquisitions fund of the Museum of Modern Art, New York.
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