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  • Provenance

    Acquired directly from the artist
    By descent to Private Collection, Havana
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Catalogue Essay

    Sandu Darie is considered one of the foremost revolutionary Concrete artists of his generation who, with this lot, provides us with a brilliant example of one of his moving and transformable structures. This work clearly emulates his conceptual boldness and is a masterful model for the way in which, as the Cuban intellectual Marcelo Pogolotti aptly stated, “Darie made all of his work a sort of laboratory where ideas, sentiments, and technology met and merged, attuned to universal aesthetic postulates and motivated, like many of his contemporaries, by the possibility of applying them to artistic creation” (E. Vega Dopico, “Cuban Geometric Art: A Reason to Evoke Poetry” in Pulses of Abstraction in Latin America: The Ella Fontanals- Cisneros Collection, Madrid: Turner Libros, p. 70). In addition to having the characteristic components attributed to Concrete art—a combination of basic visual features such as planes, primary colors, and form—Untitled is also imbued with geometric rigor reminiscent of Piet Mondrian’s Neoplasticism. Its movable components also exemplify the profound influence which the MADÍ movement had on the artist. Initiated in Argentina by Gyula Kosice in 1946—with whom Darie developed a friendship and series of correspondences starting in 1949—MADÍ was characterized by a focus on the concrete and physical reality of art. MADÍ artists sought to play and rupture with the traditional conventions of painting, often producing irregular shaped canvases or structures with moving parts, characteristics which this lot illustrates.

    In this sculpture, Darie combines his painstaking interest in space, light, and color and invites the viewer to take part in the modification of the compositional elements: when one component is lifted or moved another strikingly bold arrangement is revealed. The work transforms into at least seven different forms, ridding any possibility of passive observation. Instead, his invitation for the viewer to participate in the motion, perspective, and movement of the work reinforces Darie’s conviction of art’s social function—a cunning response and counter to the view that abstract art was alien to social reality. In this way, Darie’s Untitled undoubtedly illustrates and defines the theoretical scope and artistic originality of the twentieth century Latin American avant-garde that defined geometric and Concrete abstraction.

  • Artist Biography

    Sandú Darié

    Romanian / Cuban • 1906 - 1991

    Romanian-born artist Sandú Daríe was initially trained as a lawyer, but his exposure to the Romanian intelligentsia resulted in his choice of a painting career. After studies in Paris, Darié moved permanently to Havana in 1941. His works evince the basic tenets of Concrete art, a combination of planes, primary colors and form fused with geometric rigor stimulated by Piet Mondrian's Neoplasticism.

    His most innovative works include irregular-shaped canvases and structures with moving parts, connoting the principles of the Latin American MADÍ movement that wished to break from traditional painting and focus on the concrete and physical reality of art. Daríe was constantly preoccupied with space, light and color as well as with viewer participation in the motion, perspective and movement of his works.

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circa 1950
paint on wood, with movable components
dimensions: 53 3/4 x 18 x 10 in. (136.5 x 45.7 x 25.4 cm)
Signed "DARIE" on the crossbar.

$60,000 - 80,000 

Contact Specialist
Kaeli Deane
Head of Sale
New York
+1 212 940 1352

Latin America

New York Auction 18 November 2015 6pm