Galerie Gmurzynska returns to the Palm Beach Show this year, as the only international classic 20th century gallery, bringing international masters who pioneered the abstraction of the human figure. Among these greats count Pablo Picasso, Constantin Brancusi, Francis Picabia, Wifredo Lam, Roberto Matta, Joaquin Torres García, and the burgeoning Pop icon, Marjorie Strider. Alongside these masters and in the exclusive charitable benefit of Focused on Nature, Prince Hussain Aga Khan’s fine art undersea photography will be presented.
As a seminal highlight of this presentation, Picasso’s plaster sculpture of his left hand from 1937 will be shown in its first public tour in over two decades. The sculpture dates from the same year the artist painted “Guernica” and encapsulates the creative force of the ceaselessly inventive artist. When the Surrealist photographer Brassaï saw the work during the war in 1944 in its safekeeping depot he remarked:
“It stands in one piece, a monument of strength and sovereign balance: fleshy palm, mount of Venus protruding of sensuality, voluntary thumb, fingers compressed against each other not letting any light through. And what clarity, what neatness of the deeply engraved lines that criss-cross this large craftsman’s palm and that are dominated by the line of luck that rises, rises straight up like a rocket to the root of the middle finger.” – Brassaï
The Chilean-born Surrealist Roberto Matta is represented with two major monumental oil paintings from the 1960s, a period famous for the vibrant manifestations of his political and philosophical visions. In his nearly three-meter painting “Le fond d’Héraclite,” Matta honors the Greek philosopher Heraclitus, whose maxim “No man steps in the same river twice,” serves as a springboard for Matta’s fascination with change, energy and matter. A remarkably powerful painting speaks to the limitless boundaries of science, humanity and art.
Another nominally Latin American Surrealist turned international 20th century master, Wifredo Lam is a highlight of the gallery’s presentation. In the recent market and museum reevaluation of Surrealism, Wifredo Lam has been considered one of its champions. His vibrant figurative creations were influenced by his globe-trotting career with the avant-garde generations in Paris and New York but also by his native Cuban Santeria religion. His 1954 collage shares the visual language of Picasso’s “Guernica” and evokes the realms of spirits and dreams.
Marjorie Strider’s recent return to the limelight and core of the history of Pop Art is long overdue. Dissatisfied with her male peers’ representation of women and the bland forms of minimalism, Strider pushed painting into the third dimension with her structured reliefs of pin-up models. The monumental painted construction “Girl with White Rose” plays with the tropes of romance, beauty and gender. This work to be shown at the Palm Beach Show shares many of the formal characteristics of Strider’s “Girl with Radish,” which the New York Times used as the cover image of their recent article “Best Art of 2022.”