New York

Between Friends:Balla + DorazioFeininger + Tobey

November 4 – December 20, 2012

Lyonel Feininger (1871-1956)
Regatta, 1949
Watercolor and ink on paper
12 3/8 x 18 ¾ in. (31.5 x 47.7 cm)
signed and dated lower left: Feininger 1949

Giacomo Balla (1871-1958)
Paravento con linea di velocità, c. 1915
Oil on canvas painted on both sides (screen)
59 ½ x 49 ⅝ in. (151 x 126 cm)
Signed lower left of left panel: Balla Futurista

Mark Tobey (1890-1976)
Arena of Civilization, 1947
Tempera on board painted on recto and verso
14 x 19 ½ in. (35.6 x 49.5 cm)
Signed and dated lower left: Tobey 47

Moeller Fine Art New York is pleased to announce the opening of its new gallery space at 35 East 64th Street and the exhibition “Between Friends: Giacomo Balla + Piero Dorazio, Lyonel Feininger + Mark Tobey” from 5 November - 21 December, 2012.

Piero Dorazio (1927-2005) met the legendary Futurist Giacomo Balla (1871-1958) in the late 1940s as a young painter in Italy. Virginia Dortch Dorazio, Piero Dorazio's then wife, described a visit to Balla's Rome studio in 1952: "In the midst of the multi-colored objects which crowded the sun-lit salon, the octogenarian Balla sat in a checkered armchair with a plaid blanket over his knees…With the hand of an old master, he was making free-line drawings of landscapes from memory. Behind him was a Futurist cabinet and chair which he had designed himself and painted in bright green and yellow patterns." Balla's Futurist works, which had been largely forgotten by a generation of artists after the Second World War, were a revelation to Piero Dorazio. The grid-like paintings he created during the 1960s as well as his later bands of bright, interwoven colors provide a brilliant extension of the principles of visual velocity and motion outlined in the Futurist Manifesto of 1909, in addition to being unmistakable declarations in their own right. Moeller Fine Art will show paintings and drawings by Piero Dorazio alongside a group of rare, early paintings, sculptures and works on paper by Giacomo Balla, among them Linee - forza del pugno di Boccioni II, an iconic steel sculpture, whose cardboard maquette of 1915 Dorazio glimpsed in Balla's studio.

Lyonel Feininger (1871-1956) met Mark Tobey (1890-1976) in 1944 at the Willard Gallery in New York, and the two artists kept up a voluminous correspondence (Years of Friendship, 1944-1956, ed. Achim Moeller, Hatje Cantz, 2006) until Feininger's death in 1956. Although Tobey's calligraphic abstractions were worlds away from the ethereal, linear landscapes of Feininger's later years, the two found a conceptual sympathy in their work, which only deepened with their friendship. "His highly sensitive technique captures something of the fleeting values of our life," Feininger wrote for a Portland Museum of Art exhibition catalogue of Tobey's work in 1945, "it is an expression adequate for times like ours, where old-accustomed stability has given way to changed concepts of space, where boundaries are almost nonexistent, and in which the intricacies of existence overlay the fundamentals of life, and man as never before has to struggle for a way out." Tobey returned the compliment in 1954 in an essay for a Feininger exhibition catalogue at the Curt Valentin Gallery, "He does not abstract for abstraction's sake. He draws the essence from the real, reshapes and relates in color, form and line—and gives us his world wherein, if we have the willing mind, and take the time, we are rewarded by becoming more aware, and more sensitive within ourselves." Works by Lyonel Feininger and Mark Tobey created during their years of friendship will be on view, including Aerial City, 1950 by Mark Tobey, which Feininger kept in his own collection.

Moeller Fine Art’s New York gallery is designed by architect Thomas Kröger, who also designed Moeller Fine Art Berlin in 2009. The gallery’s ground floor premises in New York provide a museum-quality viewing space, featuring curated exhibitions of modern and contemporary art open to the public throughout the year.

All works are for sale. For further information, please contact the gallery at +1 212 644 2133 or

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