Frieze Masters: Virgin. Muse. Heroine.London
Provenancewith Blair Laing Gallery, Toronto, 1961,
Walter Carsen, Toronto, before 1970,
with Hanover Gallery, London, 1996,
(Christie’s, New York, 1 May 1996, lot 376),
with Galleria dello Scudo, Verona,
LiteratureE. Trier, The sculpture of Marino Marini, London, 1961, illustration of a polychrome plaster version, pl. 13.
E. Trier, The Sculpture of Marino Marini, London and Stuttgart 1961, illustration of a polychrome plaster version, cover and pp. 104-7.
G. Carandente, Marino Marini: Lithographs 1942-1965, Milan, 1966, pl. XI.
A. Busignani, Marino Marini, Florence, 1968, illustration of a plaster version without arms, pl. 30.
A.M. Hammacher, Marino Marini Sculptures, Painting, Drawings, New York, 1970, illustration of a polychrome plaster version, pl. 199-200.
H. Read, P. Waldberg, and G. di San Lazzaro, Marini, Complete Works, New York, 1970, pp. 138, 146-47 c.s.n. 307abc.
C. Pirovano, Marino Marini, Scultore, Milan, 1972, fig. 52, 60 c.s.n. 307abc.
A. Nerse Szinyei, Marini, Budapest, 1977, fig. 35.
Marino Marini, exh. cat., Tokyo, National Museum of Modern Art, April-June 1978, fig. 89, 131.
C. Pirovano, Marino Marini, Catalogo del Museo di San Pancrazio di Firenze, Milan, 1988, fig. 147-48 pp. 158-59.
G. Iovane, Marino Marini, Milan, 1990, p. 74.
C. Pirovano, Marino Marini, Museo San Pancrazio, Milan, 1990, p. 66.
G. Gentile, Marino Marini, Pomone and Female Nudes, Milan 1991, pl. 40-41-43-44-45.
S. Hunter, Marino Marini Sculptor, New York, 1993, p. 116.
G. Carandente, ed., Marino Marini. Catalogo ragionato della scultura, Milan, 1998, p. 86, ill. 378B.
In the decade following the Second World War, Marini explored new articulations of forms. In series like the Jugglers, made between 1953 and 1956, he experimented with the sense of blocked motion and tension in the figures, focusing on moments of transition. In the present Dancer, Marini achieved great elegance and grace by attentively weighting, interconnecting and closing volumes. Rather than defining the musculature of his figure, Marini employed subtle curves to capture the sense of tension and effort fundamental to the dancer’s movement. “The dance is shown to us, not in repose, for such a thing does not exist in the sphere of dance, but in a state of suspense, that instant of straining stillness where action either emerges or else expires” (H. Read, P. Waldberg and G. Di San Lazzaro, Marini. Complete Works. New York, 1970, p. 134). This version of the Dancer embodies the newfound harmony and stylistic refinement achieved by the artist after the turbulence of the war.
At the same time, the present work perfectly marries a classicising form with a modern sensibility to create a sense of the eternal, a longstanding hallmark of Marini's practice. As Marini once noted, he sought to endow his works with “a classical quality of anonymity. I have tried to express in them no personal sensuality of my own. I wanted to exclude from them the autobiographical element that allows us to recognize, in sculptures of Renoir or even Maillol, the artist’s own mistress or at least a particular contemporary type of feminine beauty that appealed to the sculpture more immediately than an eternal type of classical beauty” (quoted in S. Hunter, Marino Marini, The Sculptor, New York, 1993, p. 171).
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