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Collagist Marca-Relli dies in Italy

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  • cecil touchon
    Collagist Marca-Relli dies in Italy August 31, 2000 Web posted at: 1:26 PM EDT (1726 GMT) ROME (AP) -- Conrad Marca-Relli, an Italian-American collagist who
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 30, 2000
      Collagist Marca-Relli dies in Italy

      August 31, 2000
      Web posted at: 1:26 PM EDT (1726 GMT)

      ROME (AP) -- Conrad Marca-Relli, an Italian-American
      collagist who served as a link between the European
      avant-garde and American abstract expressionism, died of
      heart attack at his home in Parma. He was 87.

      Marca-Relli died Tuesday. His funeral was Thursday in

      His greatest contribution came in the 1950s, when he
      revolutionized the medium of collage -- adding strips of
      over the canvas and painting them over in a subdued
      palette --
      "a painting with oil and canvas," in one critic's words.

      "He was the first artist who took collage to monumental
      proportions," said Marco Niccoli, owner of the Parma art

      gallery that has exhibited Marca-Relli's work for 15
      years. "He
      always considered his work as unfinished, and collage
      him to intervene again, to rework a piece after decades,
      to let --
      theoretically at least -- the possibility of change."

      Marca-Relli's style blended classicism with surrealism,
      some of the playful improvisations of his abstract
      friends like Willem de Kooning and Jackson Pollock.

      Always open to influences from abroad, ranging from the
      Italian classical modernism of Giorgio Morandi to
      adobe architecture, Marca-Relli began adding strips of
      to his paintings after running out of paint during a
      Mexico trip in

      Soon afterward, he created monumental-sized collages
      like the
      1956 "Trial" and by the 1960s he was replacing canvas
      scrap materials like aluminum or vinyl.

      "I feel that when I bring it down to very simple shapes
      ... the
      ambiguous is created," he said in a 1965 interview.

      Marca-Relli was born in Boston in 1913 and traveled
      throughout his childhood with his father, a journalist.
      He had
      his first solo exhibit, focused on surrealist works, in
      New York
      in 1947. In the 1950s, his recognition increased in the
      States as he taught at Yale and the University of

      Moodily handsome, described by his friends as a
      fascinating but
      difficult and reserved man, he loved discreet elegance
      in his
      personal life as well as in his art.

      Better known in the United States than in Europe, his
      are held in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum
      Modern Art and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New
      York, as well as the Whitney Museum of American Art.

      Marca-Relli is survived by his wife of 49 years, Anita.

      Copyright 2000 The Associated Press. All rights
      This material may not be published, broadcast,
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