The Belgian artist, Georges Vantongerloo (1896-1965), was a founding member of De Stijl and then later was head of the artist group Abstraction-Création in Paris in the 1930s. Lillian met Vantongerloo in Paris, introduced by Hugo Weber her instructor at the Institute of Design, visiting the reclusive artist each year in his studio. They corresponded throughout the 1950s, discussing their works in progress, materials and process, and even the everyday events and concerns of their lives. Vantongerloo shared his more personal writings with her in this close relationship.
Lillian fondly collected several works from her good friend, including the piece offered here. Her Vantongerloo pieces were displayed prominently and proudly in her home for many years, and in January of 1963, after an exhibition of Vantongerloo’s work at Marlborough Gallery in London, Lillian wrote to him: You have received the praises from everyone in London, but you ought to know how everyone here finds your beautiful pieces in my home. They continue to give me enormous pleasure. I always thank you for having accepted me finally as a lover (amateur) of your work, not merely as a buyer (marchand).
Georges Vantongerloo's Notebook
Vantongerloo kept record of his works including the present lot which he sold to his friend Lillian Florsheim. Notice the lower left corner features a small sketch of the work.