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    JOHN GRILLO (American, b. 1917)
    Forces # 4, 1961
    Oil on canvas
    41-3/4 x 50 inches (106.0 x 127 cm)
    Signed and dated lower right: Grillo / 61

    Bertha Schaefer Gallery, New York;
    Private collection, New York.

    Born in 1917, Grillo was an architect of the Post-War Abstract Expressionist movement on the West Coast. His explosive action paintings are rich in color and movement. In 2001, Grillo said, "Abstract painting is on a level with music. It's a physical outburst from your whole being. It's not the idea that is created and then you start painting. It's always a challenge to shape something from nothing, to do the impossible."

    During World War II, Grillo enlisted in the Navy and was sent to Okinawa, where he remained until it ended in 1946. Under the GI Bill, he enrolled in the San Francisco School of Fine Arts where he studied with Richard Diebenkorn, Clyfford Still, Frank Lobdell, Jorge Goya, Edward Dugmore, and Mark Rothko.

    In 1948, Grillo left San Francisco for New York and enrolled in the Hans Hoffmann School of Arts. There he initially worked in watercolors and progressed to oils on canvas. Inspired by Hoffmann's love of color, Grillo developed a brighter palette with an emphasis on yellow. Donald Judd reviewed a 1960 exhibition and noted, "all the paintings in this exhibition are yellow and have the splendor of sunlight." Forces #4, from the same period, consists of circular and rectangular shapes dispersed throughout a yellow field of color. Some of the shapes appear to be resting on top, some appear to be cutting across it, and some appear to be emerging from underneath, resulting in a chaotic sense of movement.

    Condition Report*:

    Original canvas, some cracking to the paint in lower left corner with approximately 1 x 1/2 inch loss, some mold on upper right  and left areas of canvas, otherwise good condition. two horizontal cracks approximately 7 inches in length above blue circle, two vertical cracks approximately six inches in length along right edge, could benefit from a light clean, rich colors, thick impasto, and otherwise good condition.  Simple thin wooden frame.

    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

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    Auction Dates
    November, 2008
    20th-21st Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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