Canadian Fine Art

November 19, 2018

LOT 34

Lot 34


Lot 34 Details


oil on canvas
33 ins x 26.25 ins; 83.8 cms x 66.7 cms

Estimate $35,000-$50,000

Realised: $48,000
Price Includes Buyer's Premium ?

Lot Report

Additional Images

Jerrold Morris International Gallery Limited, Toronto
Private Collection, Montreal


Louise Letocha, Molinari, Musée d’art contemporain, Montreal, 1979, page 3.


Guido Molinari (1933-2004) continues to be one of Canada’s most recognisable abstract painters, with a well-defined sense of structure and colour. A subdued and characteristic example, Structure Asymetric Bleu expertly demonstrates how Molinari’s analytical and structural compositions follow from the inheritance of Malevitch, Mondrian, and Rothko to develop a distinctly home grown language of abstraction.

With a predilection for the use of pure colour, here Molinari cleverly creates a sense of subtle outward movement with a limited palette. Whereas many of his pieces are defined by their verticality and bright contrasting colours, this painting is quieter, heavier. Dark blues overlay green, and are bounded and interceded with dense black. Rather than strips of vertical colour, these are arranged as successive rectangles, mimicking the shape of the canvas. There is no bleeding between colours: the successive colours are laid against each other in hard edges. Nearly squared off and defined by darker hues, there is an almost architectural quality to the sharply-defined lines.

This formalist construction doesn’t preclude a clear sense of movement, and indeed here the chromatic tensions seem to energise the painting with a vital dynamism. There is a rhythm within the asymmetric arrangement, and the closely contrasting hues seem to recede and advance in a low throb. Rippling outward from the centre and softly lurching to the edge of the frame, the structured lines are bound within the canvas, but sustaining the vibrating energy of a ripple on a deep lake, or the pulse of a shadow passing over a window.

The painting retains a self-assured existentialism. As Louise Letocha writes, Molinari’s experiments in abstraction “freed the canvas of any possible reference to nature and secured for the painted surface its own reality.” Compelled by the subtle lateral movements and solid chromatic definition, Structure Asymetric Bleu amplifies the flatness of the canvas, until it radiates a contemplative energy - both expansive and absorptive.


For condition information please contact the specialist.

LOT 34

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.