Relational Painting Number 64 underscores Piet Mondrian’s impact on midcentury abstraction. Glarner adopted Mondrian’s simplified vocabulary of forms and colors, but he modified the Dutch artist’s severe geometry by introducing diagonal lines that changed rectangles into trapezoids and created irregular rhythmical patterns. Glarner also employed shades of gray for the lines in contrast to Mondrian’s use of black. These alterations added spatial dimensions to his compositions as well as a sense of movement and vitality that evokes urban architecture and dynamism.
Inscription: Signed and dated (on reverse): Fritz Glarner 1953
the artist (1953–54; sold in 1954 to Bartos); Celeste and Armand Bartos, New York (1954–83; their gift to MMA)
New York. Graham Gallery. "In the Geometric Tradition: Fritz Glarner, Carl Holty, Albert Swinden," September 23–October 25, 1980, not in brochure.
Margit Staber. Fritz Glarner. Zürich, 1976, p. 132, ill., calls it "Relational Painting No. 64" and locates it in the collection of Mr. and Mrs. Armand Bartos, New York.
Lisa M. Messinger in "Twentieth Century Art." The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Notable Acquisitions, 1983–1984. New York, 1984, p. 94, ill., calls it "Relational Painting No. 64"; notes that this painting is the first work by the artist to enter the MMA's collection.