Relational Painting Number 64

Artist: Fritz Glarner (American (born Switzerland), Zurich 1899–1972 Locarno)

Date: 1953

Medium: Oil on canvas

Dimensions: 20 x 20 in. (50.8 x 50.8 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: Gift of Celeste and Armand Bartos, 1983

Accession Number: 1983.579


Relational Painting Number 64 underscores Piet Mondrian’s impact on midcentury abstraction. Glarner adopted Mondrian’s simplified vocabulary of forms and colors, but he modified the Dutch artist’s severe geometry by introducing diagonal lines that changed rectangles into trapezoids and created irregular rhythmical patterns. Glarner also employed shades of gray for the lines in contrast to Mondrian’s use of black. These alterations added spatial dimensions to his compositions as well as a sense of movement and vitality that evokes urban architecture and dynamism.