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These erotic etchings depict mythological and fantasy creatures as striking nudes. A host of sensuous and shocking figures include a mermaid, Medusa, and women in both jubilant and pensive poses. The loose sketches were drawn directly onto the plate by the artist, a master draftsman whose erotic etchings are largely unknown.
Termed the Erotic Fantasy Etchings, these prints are related to another project of larger prints produced by Oldenburg in a similar style. As recorded in the artist’s unpublished notes: “In 1974 an ambitious project for a suite of large-scale etchings was hatched with Paul Cornwall-Jones, for production by Maurice Payne in Petersburg Press’s new Pembroke studios in London. The project would consist of meticulous transcriptions of a certain group of drawings on sexual themes done in the mid-sixties, most of which had never been exhibited. These were supplemented by a number of works in the same vein transcribed from other drawings of the late sixties and early seventies, as well as new drawings invented on the plate.” With complete confidence, the artist freely sketched sexually-charged scenes, infusing them with characteristic humor and charm. Using only crosshatching and line work to define vampy, lithe nymphs and outsized, disembodied members, Oldenburg neatly replicates the look of ballpoint pen in vibrant color.
Erotic Fantasy Etchings, London, 1975 (begun 1974)
Edition of 60 (includes 10 prints in each of 6 different ink colors: Indigo blue, Mauve, Burnt sienna, Astral blue, Yellow-ochre, Vermilion) with 12 Artist’s Proofs (2 copies in each of 6 colors). Etching in one color from one plate on white, thick, slightly textured Wookey Hole hand-made paper watermarked with artist’s signature. Signed and dated in pencil, lower right: Oldenburg. 75; numbered in pencil, lower left; copyright blind stamp, lower right. Printed by Maurice Payne at Petersburg Press, London. Published by Petersburg Press, London and New York.
In good condition having been stored in our archives since their publication. Some waviness of the sheets commensurate with age, as photographed.
Set includes 6 prints total: one of each image (one copy of each color).
All sheets 25 × 20 ½ in. / 63.5 × 52.1 cm
Plate: 10⅞ × 9¼ in. / 27.6 × 23.5 cm
Plate: 10¼× 13⅝ in. / 25 × 34.0 cm
Figure in Skirt with Phallus Il
Plate: 9⅜ × 7¾ in. / 24.4 x 19.7 cm
Figure and Phallus II
Plate: 9% x 7¾ in. / 24.4 × 19.7 cm
Medusa, Seated Figure
Plate: 9⅝× 7¾ in. / 24.4 × 19.7 cm
Plate: 9⅝ × 7¾ in. / 24.4 × 19.7 cm
Catalogue reference: Printed Stuff: Prints, Posters and Ephemera by Claes Oldenburg A Catalogue Raisonné 1958-1996 Hudson Hills Press in association with Madison Art Center Wisconsin, New York, 1997. Illustrated no. 123.1-123.6