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Archive for the ‘Modern’ Category

Claire Falkenstein’s Struttura Grafica c. 1953

April 11th, 2018

Claire Falkenstein (American, 1908-1997) initially met Stanley William Hayter when he visited the California College of Arts and Crafts in 1935.  They renewed their acquaintance when she lived in Paris and worked at the re-established Atelier 17 in the early 1950s.   

Falkenstein brought an independent approach to the Hayter’s experimental workshop, dispensing with convention of merely engraving or etching an image into the plate.  Instead she cut and soldered scrap metal shapes to build relief matrices, bringing her own sense of structure and form to the print making process.  The metal constructions were then daubed with ink and sent them through the press with sheets of dampened hand-made linen paper.  The sheets are heavily embossed, creating a bas relief that goes so far as to puncture the sheet.  These collagraphs are called Struttura Grafica and are signed, dated and annotated épreuve d’artiste.  They come to us from Hayter’s own collection.  We are indebted to David Acton’s book, The Stamp of Impulse: Abstract Expressionist Prints for insight and explanation of these rare and important works.

Claire Falkenstein Struttura Grafica 1953 collagraph

Struttura Grafica 1953

 

Claire Falkenstein Struttura Grafica 1953 collagraph

Struttura Grafica 1953

 

 

 

 

 

Stanley William Hayter’s plaster prints from Atelier 17

October 25th, 2017

Hayter’s fascination with the relief character of the printed burin line led him and other members of Atelier 17 to explore printing techniques that emphasized the sculptural nature of the engraved plate.  As early as 1931, experiments were made at Atelier 17 with “plaster prints,” or actual plaster casts of engraved copper plates.  Hayter learned about this technique of making a print in plaster of Paris from a Treatise on Etching by Maxine Francçois Antoine Lalanne
This technique had the advantage of demonstrating the relief of the lines more clearly than the lines of an inked print on paper.  The print (on paper) reveals more of the subtleties of engraving such as fine lines and tonal relationships, but the plaster cast emphasized the depth of the engraved lines.  * Thanks to Joanne Moser, Atelier 17 A 50th Anniversary Retrospective Exhibition, Elvehjem Art Center, University of Wisconsin, Madison 1977

We are proud to offer Hayter’s Myth of Creation 1940 (BM134), along with a state-proof impression from the same plate.  Plaster prints are hybrid works that both print making and sculpture.  Other examples can be found in major museum collections and it is a rare opportunity when a superb example like Myth of Creation comes becomes available for sale.

Stanley William Hayter Myth of Creation 1941

Hayter Myth of Creation 1941, carved plaster print

Hayter Myth of Creation 1941 State I 1940 engraving, proof, 1st state

Hayter Myth of Creation 1941 State I 1940 engraving, proof, 1st state

Rare early engravings by Louise Bourgeois

October 25th, 2017

We are proud to offer some early engravings by Louise Bourgeois (French-American, 1911-2010).

In 1946 Bourgeois finally found her way to Atelier 17, the intaglio workshop that Stanley William Hayter had moved from Paris to New York in 1940. The expertise of Hayter and the array of international artists who worked there made the Atelier a center of printmaking activity in the city. When asked about the Atelier Bourgeois noted the social setting, she stated, “There were a lot of interesting people there…” The Chilean artist Nemecio Antunez, who spoke French became a good friend, and she developed a close relationship with Joan Miró when he was at the workshop in 1947. Bourgeois undertook there her most important print project of the forties: the book/portfolio He Disappeared into Complete Silence.  *Thanks to Deborah Wye, from The Prints of Louise Bourgeois.

From this period with 1949 we have Hanging Weeds Wye #56. Ours is a strong, elegant proof after the third state. We also have a proof impression of Plate 3 from the folio, He Disappeared into Complete Silence 1947.  These rare works came to us from Hayter’s own print collection, as did Nemecio Antunez’s City Dwellers 1950.  Mr Antunez (Chilean, 1918–1993) later became a major figure in Chilean art.

Louise Bourgeois Hanging Weeds 1949 engraving, state proof

Louise Bourgeois Hanging Weeds 1949

Nemecio Antunez City Dwellers 1950 etching with surface roll applied color

Nemecio Antunez City Dwellers 1950

A pair of rare works by Spanish Master Joan Miró

October 23rd, 2017

We are delighted to share a pair of proof impressions of Serie I from plates made by Joan Miró at Atelier 17 in New York in 1947.  Miró had come to the United States for work on a commission for the Plaza Hotel in Cincinnati, Ohio.   He had been working at Atelier 17 on and off since the early 1930s and visited Stanley William Hayter in New York in June, 1947.

“One of the artists who exploited the effects of open bite etching most successfully was Joan Miró. Previously Miró had limited his prints to fairly conventional etchings and drypoints”.  However, in New York in 1947, “the variety and unorthodoxy of the devices Miró employed…testify not only to the imaginative powers of an individual artist, but also to the uninhibited attitude toward experimentation that prevailed at Atelier 17 during the 1940s.  (Joanne Moser’s, Atelier 17 A 50th Anniversary Retrospective Exhibition, Elvehjem Art Center, University of Wisconsin, Madison 1977)

The plate for Mirós Serie I (Dupin 75-82) was printed and published by Maeght in Paris in 1952.  However our impressions were pulled when Miró made the plate in New York.  They are a superb demonstration of Miró exploring the possibilities of an etched plate:  one impression is printed in relief, with the ink rolled onto the surface where with the other impression he has inked and wiped the surface of the plate clean to push the figures forward, haloed by the deep-etched outline. They are a handsome pair and both are annotated, “pour Hayter New York 17/6/1947”.  The relief impression is also annotated on back, “Femme Enfants Etoilé,” while the intaglio impression is annotated, “Jeux d’Enfant”.

We are fortunate that this pair remained together in Hayter’s own collection and we could not be more pleased to offer them 70 years on.

Joan Miró, Serie I, 1947 printed relief

Joan Miró, Serie I, 1947 printed relief

Joan Miró, Serie I, 1947 open bite etching, printed intaglio

Joan Miró, Serie I, 1947 printed intaglio

Krishna Reddy’s color viscosity intaligo prints

August 1st, 2017

We have a great selection of early and innovative prints selected from Krishna Reddy’s studio.  We are happy to send images and information.  Please contact us: info@dolanmaxwell.com

“I first met Krishna in the early fifties.  He was studying sculpture with Ossip Zakine in Paris.  Zadkine sent Krishna to me because he felt that this young Indian artist also possessed remarkable graphic talents that the atmosphere of the Atelier 17 might allow to develop fully.  Thus it was the sculptural aspect of printmaking that he commenced to develop: not as many other sculptors the repetition of the sculptural drawing nor the representation of sculptures realized or to be realized, but rather the plate as a sculpture in itself and its amplification by means of print.  Thus, whereas a sculptor can erect a framework in space, an object having the relations between internal and external space, in a print made from a sculptured surface it is entirely possible to invert the space of the structure and to exchange the internal with the external space.  This characteristic ambiguity, not in the sense of confusion, but rather in the sense of multiple linked expressions he elaborated not only in black and white but in a very curious and original use of the function of color as space. Others have used the simple consequences of color opposition to demonstrate space as cold color against warm color, tone against a complementary.  Krishna however employed extremely subtle variants of color carried the hollows of a plate going far beyond simple sculptural relief giving as a result a complex web in which light itself becomes the medium of sculpture”.

Stanley William Hayter
Introduction, Krishna Reddy: A Retrospective
Bronx Museum, 1982

Krishna Reddy, Butterfly, 1952 color trial proof

Butterfly, 1952 color trial proof

An important painting on paper by Norman Lewis

February 28th, 2017

Born in Harlem and working within New York City’s downtown art scene, Norman Wilfred Lewis (1909-1979) first began painting in a figural style grounded in social realism, focusing on bread lines, police brutality, and the struggles of black Americans. Lewis transitioned to a more abstract style of art during the 1940s and 1950s, continuing to focus on social inequalities but growing increasingly interested in personal expression rather than representation. Lewis’s shift to abstraction was driven in part by his realization that reproducing or mirroring social conditions did not adequately reflect his goals as an artist. At the same time the subjects of race and civil rights reclaimed Lewis’s work in a profound way in the 1960s.  Works like Untitled 1961 address political activism and humanitarian concerns through hazy visuals inspired by clandestine Ku Klux Klan gatherings and political marches and Labor Day parades.

The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art organized Procession, a major retrospective of Lewis’s works in 2016, which traveled to the Amon Carter Museum and the Chicago Cultural Center.  Curator and author Ruth Fine received a 2017 award of distinction from the College Art Association for the Norman Lewis exhibition catalogue.

UNTITLED 1961, oil on paper, signed and dated in recto

UNTITLED 1961, oil on paper, 19 x 26″

Alfred Bendiner’s Philadelphia

July 28th, 2016

Alfred Bendiner’s “And So I Give You Our Candidate and the Next President of the United States of America” 1948 captures the energy of convention week then and now in Philadelphia. Bendiner was trained as an architect but is better known as a celebrated cartoonist for the Philadelphia Bulletin known for his wry humor and social commentary. One can only imagine what he’d make of our 2016 presidential race.

This work was made in 1948 when both the Democratic Party Convention and the G.O.P. Convention were both held in Philadelphia.  We believe the wreathed candidate is Thomas Dewey, who famously lost to Harry Truman and became one of our most admired presidents.

We have an excellent selection of works by Bendiner (1899-1964).  Please ask for more images or, even better, come visit to see them face to face.

And So I Give You Our Candidate, 1948

And So I Give You Our Candidate, 1948

watercolor paintings & lithographs by Robert Riggs

February 16th, 2016

We are pleased to offer an excellent selection of watercolors and lithographs by Robert Riggs (1896-1970).  Riggs was one of the greatest artist-illustrators when publishing supported illustrators on a large scale.  Riggs’ success enabled him to travel around the world in the mid-1920s and included a stop in Algeria where he made our group of watercolor paintings.  Upon returned to Philadelphia he immersed himself in making lithographs, part of what he considered “dry medium”.  He began working with printer Theodore Cuno but soon decided he required a more experimental collaborator and found his way to George Miller in New York.  Riggs’ lithographs are held by museum collections throughout the USA and in England.  His subjects were the circus—he attended every performance when Barnum & Baileys set up their show in Philadelphia and befriended the performers.  Boxing was his other great passion.  Riggs produced images that put the viewer up close to the action if not in the ring.

Clown Acrobats, On the Ropes, Club Fighter & Bou Saada, Algeria lithographs and a watercolor by Robert Riggs

Clown Acrobats, On the Ropes, Club Fighter & Bou Saada, Algeria

Rare Modernist intaglio works by Helen Phillips

October 20th, 2015

American sculptor and print maker Helen Phillips born 1913, Fresno, California.  She studied at the School of Fine Art in San Francisco and learned direct carving techniques from Ralph Stackpole, who introduced her to Diego Rivera but Phillips was more excited by Oceanic and Pre-Columbian art than Social Realism.    Phillips won Phelan Traveling Fellowship which allowed her to work in Paris in 1936.   There, she entered Atelier 17, the intaglio print workshop where she met it’s founder and future husband, Stanley William Hayter. Learning to engrave copper in Paris had an important impact on the development of her sculpture, forcing her to become conscious of negative space.  She fled to New York in 1939 and became a pioneer of the New York School, exhibiting with Wilfredo Lam, Roberto Matta, David Hare, Isamu Noguchi and Arshile Gorky.
Phillips’s sculpture and intaglio prints are in the permanent collections of the Albright Knox Gallery,  Peggy Guggenheim, Venice,  Dallas Museum of Art, Smithsonian American Art Museum, San Diego Museum of Art. San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, MOMA, New York, DeYoung Museum, San Francisco, Princeton University Art Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.  She died in New York in 1995.

Helen Phillips, Danseuses, c. 1959 and Saltimbanques, 1954

Danseuses, c. 1959 and Saltimbanques, 1954

Atelier 17 in New York, meet and marry

June 25th, 2015

We enjoyed a recent visit with artist Ellen (Abbey) Countey.  Ellen was born in Brooklyn, NY in 1923 and studied with William Zorach at the Art Students League. She is the model for Zorach’s 1942 marble bust, Quest, now at the Wichita Art Museum.  Ellen made the complex and beautiful engraving, Scattered Journey, in 1946 in New York at Atelier 17.  It came to us from Stanley William Hayter’s private collection of works by friends and artists who worked at Atelier 17, which is where Ellen met her husband, Edward Countey.  The Counteys remained in contact with Hayter and Ellen made more engravings at Atelier 17 in Paris in June of 1986.  It was there she met Margo Dolan and Peter Maxwell while they were visiting Hayter’s studio.  A few months later Ellen wrote asking about our Joseph Hecht (1891-1951) catalog.  Hecht introduced Hayter to engraving and they remained close throughout Hecht’s life.

Edward Countey (1921-1984), studied with Moses Soyer at the New School of Art in New York from 1938-42.   He served in the US Army Signal Photographic Corps in New Guinea in 1942-45.  Countey received a 3 year fellowship to study with Stanley William Hayter at Atelier 17 in New York shortly after his return.  He assisted Hayter and Jess Paley in producing the educational film, “New Ways of Gravure” and he drew the animated film, “Attack”, for the Signal Corp.  “Attack”  is part of film collection at MOMA.  Countey’s engravings were exhibited internationally with a show organized from MOMA’s collection and had two solo exhibitions in New York.  He later taught at SUNY Stony Brook in the engineering Department and subsequently in the Department of Art.  Countey’s Paw Paw, 1949, is a large and ambitious work with engraving, etching and stenciled color.  An impression was acquired by MOMA in 1949 and it was included in MOMA’s exhibition, “Some American Prints, 1945-50”.  Our impression also belonged to  Hayter, as did Countey’s Apollo.

One of the great joys of what we do is sharing the stories that are behind the works of art.

Engravings, Scattered Journey by Ellen (Abbey) Countey and Paw Paw by Edward Countey

Scattered Journey by Ellen (Abbey) Countey and Paw Paw by Edward Countey