LOT 030

1933 - 2004

Triple composition triangulaire brun, bleu, fuchsia
acrylic on canvas
on verso signed, dated 4/73 and inscribed "G.M.-T-1973-08"
90 3/4 x 78 3/4 in 230.5 x 200 cm

Estimate: $60,000 - $80,000

Preview at: Heffel Vancouver

Estate of the Artist

Nathalie Leroux, “Guido Molinari: Quand le spectateur se fait créateur,” Vie des arts, vol. 39, no. 158, Spring 1995, page 37

Following his decade-long study of the relationship between colour and form using vertical stripes in the 1960s, Guido Molinari introduced the triangle into his visual vocabulary in the early 1970s. This new shape allowed him to explore different modular arrangements and gave his forthcoming series its name, the Triangulaires. Although his Stripe paintings brought him immense success and recognition – they were shown internationally, acquired by important museums and exhibited at the 34th Venice Biennale in 1968 – Molinari sought new challenges and renewal towards the end of the decade. He thus pursued the Triangulaires, heralding a new phase in his oeuvre, with fresh ambition and gusto. The Triangulaires, one of his most complex series up to this time, were shown in 1974 at the Canadian Cultural Centre in Paris and in 1975 at Canada House Gallery in London.

As was often the case with the Stripe paintings, scale played an important role with the Triangulaires. In 1967, the same year he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, Molinari removed one of the walls of his studio, doubling its size and allowing him to paint on increasingly larger canvases. The towering Triple composition triangulaire brun, bleu, fuchsia draws us into its composition and commands us to engage with its colours and forms. It is divided into three vertical sections, each subdivided into three triangles of different formats – a right-angle triangle on the right, obtuse on the left and acute at the top – which are filled with the colours brown, blue and magenta. As with most works by Molinari, these colours are saturated and applied in flat planes. The accent of cool blue contrasts beautifully with the magenta and earthy brown. However, no specific colour is propelled forward or recedes backwards. They are simply encountered one beside the other, vibrating and contrasting with their neighbours.

This geometrically complex motif is repeated with a different combination of these three colours each time. The resulting composition is highly dynamic, as the viewer unconsciously creates new groupings of shapes as their eye moves across the canvas. Indeed, Triple composition triangulaire brun, bleu, fuchsia offers a multiplicity of readings of colour-form relationships, depending on what the viewer chooses to focus on – a single triangle, a pair or a repeated group.

In an interview for the magazine Vie des arts, when asked about the intention behind his work, Molinari explained that his main interest was what happens when a viewer encounters a painting’s mass of colour. Our conditioning is to read the work from left to right. However, Molinari sought to go beyond the “textuality” of a piece, and to rather create an environment to envelop the viewer. He succeeds superbly with Triple composition triangulaire brun, bleu, fuchsia. With its monumental scale, the viewer is entirely surrounded by magnetizing colours and sharp triangular shapes that together create a dynamic space.

The Triangulaires offered Molinari a new set of challenges, and they confirmed his position as one of Canada’s most prominent abstract artists. Triple composition triangulaire brun, bleu, fuchsia comes from the Estate of the Artist and is making its auction debut.

Estimate: $60,000 - $80,000

All prices are in Canadian Dollars

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