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    Sale 2509 | Lot 81
    Estimate: $15,000 - $20,000
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    • Sale 2509 Lot 81

      The Open Door.

      Oil on board, 1946. 502x606 mm; 19 3/4x25 inches. Signed and dated in oil, lower left recto.

      Ex-collection Niveau Gallery, with the label on the frame back; private collection, Rye, New York.

      Marca-Relli (1913-2000) was born in Boston to Italian immigrants and spent his youth traveling between Europe and the United States while his father worked as a journalist. When his family settled in the United States, he studied art briefly at the Cooper Union, New York at age 18 and then worked for the Works Progress Administration from 1935-38. It was through the WPA that he met Willem de Kooning and Franz Kline, pioneers of the Abstract Expressionist movement. After serving in the army in World War II, he moved back to New York and had his first solo exhibition in 1947 at the Niveau Gallery. During this time he helped found "The Artist's Club", a group of avant-garde artists who met to discuss art and participated in the first "Ninth Street Show" in 1951.

      Although he was surrounded by the premier Abstract Expressionist artists of the time, he remained interested in architecture and urban landscapes, and sought inspiration from the Italian Renaissance. He differed from his contemporaries in that he didn't seek spontaneity and movement in his compositions, but had a controlled approach in depicting static interlocking forms even as he moved towards more abstract compositions. He became known for large collage works of overlapping canvases, which he started to produce in the 1950s. In 1996, he returned to Italy, settling in Parma where he remained for the rest of his life.

      Estimate $15,000 - 20,000