Canadian Fine Art Auction

May 26, 2014

LOT 59

Lot 59


Lot 59 Details


acrylic on canvas
signed and dated /66 on the reverse
75 ins x 60 ins; 152.4 cms x 190.5 cms

Estimate $70,000-$90,000

Realised: $200,600
Price Includes Buyer's Premium ?

Lot Report


John C. Parkin, Toronto
Private Collection, U.S.A.


Pierre Théberge, Guido Molinari (exhibition catalogue), National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, 1976, page 94, cat. no.35, listed and pages 42-46.
Sandra Grant Marchand, Guido Molinari, Une Rétrospective (exhibition catalogue), Musée d’art Contemporain, Montreal, 1995, page 49, cat. no. 40, reproduced in colour and page 71, listed.


Guido Molinari, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, 1976, cat. no. 35.
Guido Molinari, Une Rétrospective, Musée d’art Contemporain, Montreal, 1995, cat. no. 40.


In a 1965 document analyzing the work of Piet Mondrian, Molinari came to certain conclusions about his own work which are exemplified by this lot: “Wishing to eliminate conflict between object and space, as well as the expressionist interplay of various proportions, I have come to use elements which are alike in quantity (the width of the stripes) and which rely solely on the qualitative function acquired through the particular mutations of a given colour in a rhythmical sequence.”

According to Théberge, Molinari had “no desire to reproduce the structures of the external world.” Rather in the paintings he did in 1966 (the year this work was painted) “Molinari developed the construction of a new pictorial space through increasingly complex combinations of colour stripes on the canvas.”

Molinari believed he had attained “a constantly renewed space-time continuum.” Théberge writes: “Indeed, the use of vertical stripes of the same size over the entire surface of the painting transformed it into an event in which the viewer contributed, through his perception, the temporal factor which altered the structure of the work.” Essentially, the experience was individualized by the viewer, and renewed with each encounter. Furthermore, because the work requires the viewer read the painting from left to right or right to left, art historian François Gagnon posits that “each colour is laden with the perception of the previous one, or at any rate, with the traces it has left in the memory... The actual plastic event seems to be located somewhere between the viewer and the canvas...”


For condition information please contact the specialist.

LOT 59

About Condition Ratings

  • 5 Stars: Excellent - No discernable damage, flaws or imperfections
  • 4 Stars: Very Good - Minor flaws or imperfections visible only under close inspection using specialised instruments or black light
  • 3 Stars: Good - Minor flaws visible upon inspection under standard lighting
  • 2 Stars: Fair - Exhibits flaws or damage that may draw the eye under standard lighting
  • 1 Star: Poor - Flaws or damage immediately apparent under standard lighting (examples: missing components, rips, broken glass, damaged surfaces, etc.)

Note: Condition ratings and condition details are the subjective opinions of our specialists and should be used as a guide only. Waddington’s uses due care when preparing condition details, however, our staff are not professional restorers or conservators. Condition details and reports are not warranties and each lot is sold “as is” in accordance with the buyer’s terms and conditions of sale. In all cases the prospective purchaser is responsible for inspecting the property themselves prior to placing a bid.