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Posts Tagged ‘Abstract Expressionism’

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

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″

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

Norman Lewis in the 1950s

September 11th, 2014

We are pleased offer 2 important works on paper made in the late 1950s by Norman Lewis, (American, 1909-1979).   He studied at Columbia University and found work during the Great Depression with the WPA at Harlem Art Center.

Norman_Lewis-Abstration  c. 1957. watercolor & ink on paper

Norman_Lewis-Abstration c. 1957. watercolor & ink on paper

Norman Lewis Figures 1957 ink & oil on paper

Norman Lewis Figures 1957 ink & oil on paper

Lewis exhibited at the seminal Willard Gallery in New York City from 1946- 1964.  He was part the Studio 35 sessions–closed door meetings led by MOMA’s Alfred J Barr Jr, which helped define the Abstract Expressionist movement.  He exhibited with the Abstract American Artists group and was included in MOMA’s 1951 exhibition, “Abstract Painting and Sculpture in America”.