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WOJCIECH FANGOR (1922-2015)

 
WOJCIECH FANGOR - SU 10 - oil on canvas - 50 x 50 in. WOJCIECH FANGOR - SU 10 - oil on canvas - 50 x 50 in. WOJCIECH FANGOR - SU 10 - oil on canvas - 50 x 50 in. WOJCIECH FANGOR - SU 10 - oil on canvas - 50 x 50 in. WOJCIECH FANGOR - SU 10 - oil on canvas - 50 x 50 in. WOJCIECH FANGOR - SU 10 - oil on canvas - 50 x 50 in. WOJCIECH FANGOR - SU 10 - oil on canvas - 50 x 50 in. WOJCIECH FANGOR - SU 10 - oil on canvas - 50 x 50 in. WOJCIECH FANGOR - SU 10 - oil on canvas - 50 x 50 in. WOJCIECH FANGOR - SU 10 - oil on canvas - 50 x 50 in.
SU 10197150 x 50 in.(127 x 127 cm) oil on canvas
Provenance
Private Collection, Milwaukee
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INTRO TEXT

“He is the great romantic of op art working not by rule but by a combination of intuition and experiment, appealing not to reason but to our yearning toward the mysterious.” – John Canaday, Fangor’s Romantic Op, New York Times, Sunday, February 15, 1970

History

“Try as you may, you cannot figure out how the illusion is created — and neither can Fangor explain it except in the most general way…As a colorist he has extended the limits — and keeps on extending them — of the simplest optical laws. …He is the great romantic of op art working not by rule but by a combination of intuition and experiment, appealing not to reason but to our yearning toward the mysterious. As the purely visual novelty wears off, the optical trick turns out to have been more than a trick after all and is revealed as a portal opening on to new experiences of color in space.” (John Canaday, Fangor’s Romantic Op, New York Times, Sunday, February 15, 1970)

The title SU 10, tells us it is the tenth painting of the “SU” series, suggesting a highly systematic approach that implies Wojceich Fangor is a dispassionate man of science. Nothing could be further from the truth. Fangor understood science well enough, but Copernicus held little interest for him. Notwithstanding his standing within the group of artists associated with the precise optical illusions of a Vasarely or Bridget Riley and the 1965 “Responsive Eye” op art exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art of which he as a vital part, Fangor was intensely passionate about his work; looking beyond a simple investigation of the principles of optics and perception and acutely aware and invested in real world applications.

More
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    Wojciech Fangor, Warsaw, 1959
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    Wojciech Fangor in his studio, early 1960s
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    Wojciech Fangor, Stanisław Zamecznik, Study of Space, Nowa Kultura Salon, Warsaw, 1958
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    Wojciech Fangor, “M 74” (1969) oil on canvas, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York

WOJCIECH FANGOR: THE EARY 1960s

  • WOJCIECH FANGOR: The Early 1960s
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  • Wojciech Fangor, “Red Moons 2” (1961), 71 x 26 in.
  • Wojciech Fangor, “Green Points” (1961), 52 7/8 x 33 1/2 in.
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    Wojciech Fangor, “#29” (1963), 39 1/2 x 39 1/2 in.
  • Wojciech Fangor, “White Ellipse” (1961), 25 x 28 in.

Wojciech Fangor: The Early 1960s, an exhibition organized by Heather James Fine Art in 2018, presented nine large-scale paintings from the artist’s breakthrough period. The first U.S. traveling solo exhibition of one of Poland’s preeminent Post War abstract artists in more than 25 years, the exhibition celebrated Fangor’s distinctive use of saturated color and blurred silhouettes to create mesmerizing optical illusions. Several pieces from this show have sold, but 4 currently on view at our gallery in Palm Desert, California: Green Points (1961)Red Moons 2 (1961), White Ellipse (1961), and #29 (1963).

Visit the Fangor exhibition page

“art is an artificial creative deception of the viewer” -Fangor, interview published in 2015 in Contemporary Lynx Magazine

MARKET INSIGHTS

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    “SU 14” (1971), oil on canvas, 50 x 50 in. Sold Thursday, May 19, 2016 for $198,205 USD
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    “M 28” (1970), oil on canvas, 55.9 x 55.9 in. Sold Thursday, October 1, 2020 for $354,312 USD
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    “M 22” (1969), oil on canvas, 79.9 x 79.9 in. Sold Thursday, December 3, 2020 for $1,685,698 USD
  • Fangor works available privately outside of Poland are rare, and this piece is further set apart by its great provenance: SU 10 has remained in the same private collection since its creation in 1971
  • A similar work from the same series, SU 14, sold 4 years ago for close to $200,000 USD, before Fangor’s record auction results of the past 3 years which achieved his highest hammer prices to date.
  • Two recent auction results demonstrate the increasing value of Fangor paintings: M 28 just sold in October 2020 for over $354,000 USD and M 22 sold for over $1.68 million USD on December 3, 2020.

Top Results at Auction

"M 22" (1969), oil on canvas, 79.9 x 79.9 in. Sold Thursday, December 3, 2020 for $1,685,698 USD
“M 22” (1969), oil on canvas, 79.9 x 79.9 in. Sold Thursday, December 3, 2020 for $1,685,698 USD
"M 39" (1969), oil on canvas, 79.9 x 79.9 in. Sold Thursday, November 29, 2018 for $1,062,022 USD
“M 39” (1969), oil on canvas, 79.9 x 79.9 in. Sold Thursday, November 29, 2018 for $1,062,022 USD
"#2" (1964), oil on canvas, 59.1 x 59.1 in. Sold Tuesday, October 8, 2019 for $683,942 USD
“#2” (1964), oil on canvas, 59.1 x 59.1 in. Sold Tuesday, October 8, 2019 for $683,942 USD
"M 72" (1969), oil on canvas, 55.1 x 55.1 in. Sold Thursday, November 29, 2018 for $637,213 USD
“M 72” (1969), oil on canvas, 55.1 x 55.1 in. Sold Thursday, November 29, 2018 for $637,213 USD

Paintings in Museum Collections

"M 74" (1969), oil on canvas, 53 x 108 in., The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York
“M 74” (1969), oil on canvas, 53 x 108 in., The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York
"Number 17" (1963), oil on burlap, 39 ½ x 39 ½ in., Museum of Modern Art, New York
“Number 17” (1963), oil on burlap, 39 ½ x 39 ½ in., Museum of Modern Art, New York
"M 22" (1968), oil on canvas, 56 x 56 in., The Israel Museum, Jerusalem
“M 22” (1968), oil on canvas, 56 x 56 in., The Israel Museum, Jerusalem
"M 65" (1969), oil on canvas, 56 x 56 in., McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, Texas
“M 65” (1969), oil on canvas, 56 x 56 in., McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, Texas

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