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Theodore Jacob Roszak (1907-1981)
On occasion, Christie's has a direct financial int… Read more An American Place: The Barney A. Ebsworth Collection
Theodore Jacob Roszak (1907-1981)

Construction (Trajectories)

Details
Theodore Jacob Roszak (1907-1981)
Construction (Trajectories)
signed 'T.J. Roszak' (on the front of the box)
painted wood, wire and glass
12 x 17 in. (30.5 x 43.2 cm.)
Executed in 1937-39.
Provenance
Private collection.
[With]Washburn Gallery, New York.
Acquired by the late owner from the above, 1977.
Literature
D. Ngo, ed., Art + Architecture: The Ebsworth Collection + Residence, San Francisco, California, 2006, n.p.
Exhibited
New York, Washburn Gallery, American Abstract Paintings from the 1930s and 1940s, September 9-October 2, 1976, no. 7.
St. Louis, Missouri, St. Louis Art Museum, The Ebsworth Collection: American Modernism, 1911-1947, November 20, 1987-June 5, 1988, pp. 154-55, 214, no. 55, illustrated (as Construction).
Washington, D.C., National Gallery of Art; Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, Twentieth-Century American Art: The Ebsworth Collection, March 5-November 12, 2000, pp. 214-15, 294, no. 55, illustrated (as Construction).
Special notice

On occasion, Christie's has a direct financial interest in the outcome of the sale of certain lots consigned for sale. This will usually be where it has guaranteed to the Seller that whatever the outcome of the auction, the Seller will receive a minimum sale price for the work. This is known as a minimum price guarantee. This is such a lot.

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Lot Essay

Describing Theodore Roszak's constructions from 1937-43, H.H. Arnason explains, "Here we have the uncompromising concentration on geometric abstraction, the attempt at elimination of association, subject matter, or content other than that involved in the form itself, which marks the extreme constructivist position." (Theodore Roszak, exhibition catalogue, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1956, p. 17) As epitomized by the present example, which appears to incorporate elements of Joseph Cornell's boxes and Jean Arp's biomorphic shapes, Arnason continues, "A second quality which characterizes them, it seems to me, is their actual approximation to beautiful, if at times strange, machines. One has a feeling about them that if a button is pressed energetic action will ensue. Also to be noted is the variety of shapes the artist explores within the non-objective medium, shapes which at times are reminiscent of cubism, and at other times clearly relate to the organic or microscopic surrealism of Miró." (Theodore Roszak, p. 25)

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