Conrad Marca-Relli

(1913-2000)

Conrad Marca-Relli is a master collage artist who studied at Copper Union, NYC. He began his career as a WPA artist (1935-38) but by the early 1940s he began producing surreal landscapes in a subdued palette with architectural starkness, evoking a sense of loneliness and emptiness typical of Surrealists. In 1953 Marca-Relli began experimenting in making collages by sketching forms on canvas, cutting them out then rearranging and pinning them down on another canvas, adding paint to the cut out forms. The paintings of the 1950s were characterized by abstract or suggested figures in reclining or sitting positions. He used intense color, broken surfaces and expressionistic spattering in these collages. In the 1960s Marca-Relli added materials like vinyl, plastic and aluminum to his large scale works. He exhibited frequently in NYC, Europe and Latin America and taught at Yale (54-55, 59-60) and the University of California at Berkley. Marca-Relli's retrospective was held in 1967 at the Whitney Museum of American Art, NYC.