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Who is artist Fritz Glarner?

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  • 1 decade ago
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    Fritz Glarner (1899-1972) was a Swiss painter. FRITZ GLARNER is a classicist in a period fundamentally romantic. He has chosen one of the painter's most difficult tasks, to express the dynamism of an age of movement and rapid change in terms of classic equilibrium as found in the relationship of vertical to horizontal, the interplay of rectilinear planes of contrasting size and color. His work is severely nonobjective but it always has its roots in nature, or, as he would say, life. This "life" is that of the modern city, specifically the city of New York. It is a life perceived and felt, not filtered through subject matter, casual observation or conventional associations.

    Glarner's composition is built up in areas of pure color, flat, with no hint of perspective, shadow or texture. These areas are related to each other in a counterpoint of color chords, the whole firmly to the limits of the canvas, which, as Glarner says, "is the one fixed factor to which all parts of the painting are constantly related."

    The tension and inner dynamism of the composition is keyed to higher intensity by diagonals which maintain the emphasis on vertical and horizontal and at the same time divide the rectangles by forming two quadrilaterals within them. This makes for movement within a closely integrated architecture where the relation between form and space, foreground and background, is so intimate that, to all intents and purposes, they become equivalents, blending into each other as night blends into day.

    Glarner was born in 1899 in Zurich, Switzerland, of a Swiss father and an Italian mother. As a child he lived in Paris, Chartres and various cities of Italy. He studied at the Royal Institute of Fine Arts, Naples, 1914-20, living in Italy until about 1923 when he went to Paris. There he studied at the Colarossi Academy, 1924-26. He first exhibited his work in Naples in 1920, Milan in 1921 and Paris in 1926, and held one-man shows in Paris, 1928, 1930, and in New York, 1931. In 1936 he came to the U.S.A. to become an American citizen. Four one-man shows were held in New York and two in Paris in the past decade. Avant-garde collectors such as Katherine S. Dreier, A. E. Gallatin and Saidie May bought his paintings, as have the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis.

    Glarner: Words are not the painter's means. They cannot express visual dimensions, but they can establish their relationship in time and stimulate the act of looking. They can also suggest some equivalents of the painter's work, what he has learned and experienced, the environment in which he lives and which imbues his work to a certain degree. . . .

    My concern in painting has been to bring about a purer and closer inter-relation between form and space. . . .

    The slant or oblique which I have introduced in my painting . . . determines the space and liberates the form. This may be seen clearly in the circle, the strongest form symbol of oneness. A multiplicity of similar quadrilaterals, one side of each a segment of the circumference, establishes the structure and becomes one with the space. Differentiation is established by the opposition of color and space areas, and the receding and advancing properties of various colors which give a new kind of depth to the space. Differentiation of textures disturbs the unity of a painting of pure relationships. The same texture should be maintained throughout the work. . . .

    It is my conviction that this relational painting is part of a step-by-step development toward the essential integration of all plastic art.

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