Made at height of the heated discussions on abstraction that took place around the artists’ group Cercle et Carré (Circle and Square), which Torres–Garcia co-founded, Estructura En Color (Color Structure), 1930 is remarkable for the way it simultaneously corresponds to and since is it self from “pure” abstraction as it was conceived at the time. The structural grid of horizontal and vertical lines Torres-Garcia employs is similar to the compositional mode often practiced by Neo-Plasticists such his Piet Mondrian, but it is not nearly as “rational” as it is in contemporaneous work by Torres-Garcia’s younger peers. By multiplying the grid’s rectangles Torres-Garcia made a work that instead relates more closely to the stained-glass windows he designed early in his career while working at the Sagrada Familia church under architect Antoni Gaudi. Likewise, although blue, red, yellow, and white are signature colors of abstraction in the style of Mondrian, Torres-Garcia’s versions are voluntarily darker, earthier, and more somber. With these variations in color and form, his work boldly breaks away from the orthodoxy of modern abstraction.
Photographed in the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.
Henryk Stażewski (1894-1988) was a Polish painter, considered to be a pioneer of the classical avant-garde of the 1920s and 1930s. Stażewski was a foremost representative of the Constructivist movement, as well as the co-creator of the Geometric Abstract art movement, and a member of the Cercle et Carré group of abstract painters based in Paris. In the second half of the 1950s Stażewski supplemented his visual language with a new element – the Relief. This form would supplant pure painterly media in his art for the next twenty years. Initially his reliefs had a very loose structure and were built of colorful, rough-textured elements that referenced organic forms (Relief, c. 1955). His reliefs of the 1960s were characterized by elements covered in ‘half-tone screens’ that energized their surface by creating the illusion of vibration. Color Relief was painted in 1963.