LOT 023

Guido Molinari
1933 - 2004

Mutation rythmique tri-vert
acrylic on canvas
on verso signed, titled on the labels and dated 1965
50 x 30 in 127 x 76.2 cm

Estimate: $50,000 - $70,000

Preview at: Heffel Montreal

Museum of Modern Art, The Art Lending Service, New York
Private Collection, Montreal

Pierre Théberge, Guido Molinari, National Gallery of Canada, 1976, page 42
Roald Nasgaard, Abstract Painting in Canada, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, 2007, page 188

East Hampton Gallery, New York, Rythmic Mutations, January 18 - February 5, 1966

Wishing to eliminate the conflict between object and space, as well as the expressionist interplay of various proportions, I have come to elements which are alike in quantity (the width of the stripes) and which rely solely on the qualitative function acquired through the particular mutations of a given colour in a rhythmical sequence. The complexity of this structural rhythm is the only means to the creation of the illusion of space.
—Guido Molinari, on his Stripe Paintings
During the 1960s, Guido Molinari was more interested in the geometry of Piet Mondrian’s paintings than the works of the American Abstract Expressionists. He felt that Mondrian’s works were a better model for a new pictorial space. In this decade, after considering these ideas and developing his own vision, Molinari launched his Stripe series, paintings that followed a definitive structure—vertical colour bands of equal width ordered in repeated patterns. Molinari was most interested in the dynamic energy of colour; he referred to his Stripe Paintings as “a non-Euclidian energetic field of infinite possibilities.”
In this work from his Mutation subset, each colour changes and reacts to the colours next to it: the yellow stripe looks different to our eye depending on whether it is next to the green or brown stripe, and thus “mutates” in its colour and spatial relationships. This visual effect activates a dynamic perceptual experience in viewers as they scan across the changing sequences of colour. Bold and vibrant, Mutation rythmique tri-vert is an exceptional painting from an important period in the work of this charismatic and influential Montreal modernist.
In 1962, Molinari’s first solo exhibition outside of Montreal was at the East Hampton Gallery in New York, which exhibited this work in 1966. In 1965, Molinari exhibited one of his Mutation paintings (Green-Red Mutation, 1964) at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. As Pierre Théberge wrote, this event marked for Molinari “a recognition of the originality of his own contribution to contemporary pictorial language.”

Estimate: $50,000 - $70,000

All prices are in Canadian Dollars

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