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Collage Seventeen by  MARIE ZOE GREENE-MERCIER - Hardcover - Signed - from Ars Libri Ltd and

Collage Seventeen


Condition: See description

[Chicago, 1953].. Collage of cut colored wove papers and woven cloth cord, mounted on four layered planes of glass, signed “Marie Zoe Greene” in black ink on the glass at lower right. 600 x 495 mm. (23 1/2 x 19 1/2 inches). Original massive wood frame. An important abstract collage construction in glass and colored paper by Greene-Mercier, one of Moholy-Nagy's first students at the New Bauhaus in Chicago. Dating from 1953, "Collage Seventeen" was one of twenty "polyplane collages," which represent a breakthrough of sorts in her work, and a fascinating chapter in postwar modernist abstraction. The series occupied Greene-Mercier for a decade. On its completion, the complete series was given an exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago in March-April 1955, at the invitation of Carl O. Schniewind, in the Department of Prints and Drawings. We quote at length from an article by Lloyd C. Engelbrecht on "Marie-Zoe Greene-Mercier: The Polyplane Collages," which appeared in "Art International" in 1978: "Marie-Zoe Greene-Mercier is best known for her grandly-scaled monumental sculpture, such as the two French Government commissions at Barcarès and Arras. Less well known is a series of collages in which she explored the spatial relationships created by separating paper and other materials by multiple panes of glass, which she has named 'polyplane collages.' "There are twenty of these collages in all, the earliest dating from 1946. The first ten to be completed were exhibited on numerous occasions as individual works, and all twenty were shown as a group in the Art Institute of Chicago in 1955. Although some were shown again as a group in the following two years in the same city, since 1957 only a few have been exhibited, at infrequent intervals. With the patina of time acquired in the last twenty years they now seem to be part of a whole, much like a musical suite in which the individual movements each make their statement, at the same time complementing one another. "Greene-Mercier first turned to collage in 1945, when she made a series of three collages using the 'traditional' methods involving pieces of paper and glue. She soon yielded to the sculptor's fascination with construction in space and began to experiment with panes of glass, which she inserted between the pieces of paper. The twenty collages with panes of glass were the result, and since they followed the three without glass, she numbered them from four to twenty-three. The first two were made with three panes of glass, and the rest with four panes. Paper was pressed, and patterned Japanese paper, burlap, thread, string and rope were used as well. The panes of glass are bound tightly together with tape, and the glass is set flush with the other materials except in those collages in which parts of the glass panes were cut away for the artist by a master glass cutter…. "Each collage makes a statement in the Constructivist idiom, and the forms suspended in orthogonally defined space go back to the origins of Constructivism; Malevich exhibited a black square hovering over a white ground in 1915. What Greene-Mercier has accomplished is to articulate orthogonally defined space in a new way, although employing traditional materials. (She once remarked that she rejected the idea of using plexiglass because she was attracted to the long tradition of glass as a material for artists.)" Born in 1911, Greene-Mercier first came to Chicago in 1933, shortly after graduating from Radcliffe, and was involved in Constructivist art in Chicago from the time of her arrival. In 1934 she assisted James Johnson Sweeney with an exhibition of abstract art at the University of Chicago which included the first showing of paintings by Mondrian in the city. At the New Bauhaus she studied with Archipenko and Gyorgy Kepes, as well as with Moholy-Nagy. One of her polyplane collages, "Collage Eight" (1946), was included in the exhibition "Abstract and Surrealist American Art" at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1947. Her successful career, later dedicated primarily to work in bronze and steel, was surveyed in a retrospective exhibition at Amerika Haus, Berlin, in 1977.

  • Bookseller: Ars Libri Ltd US (US)
  • Bookseller Inventory #: B97936-1
  • Title: Collage Seventeen
  • Book condition: Used
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: [Chicago, 1953].
  • Keywords: 20th Century ; Greene-Mercier, Marie Zoe. ; Greene-Mercier, Marie Zoe, 1911-2001. ; Art, American ; Modern ; Constructivism. ; Bauhaus ; Sculpture ; Collage ; Women artists
  • Bookseller catalogs: Art;
  • Subjects: ART / African; ART / History / General;


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