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L’Antitete III, plate 3 of “Le Desesperanto” by Joan Miró

L’Antitete III, plate 3 of “Le Desesperanto” by Joan Miró

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Edition Size: trial proof from outside of the published edition of 200

Image Size: 3-3/4 x 3-5/8 inches

Sheet Size: 5-1/2 x 4-1/2 inches

Reference: Dupin 55


Condition: Excellent

Details — Click to read

Etching; pencil signed, lower right; pencil editioned, lower left, dated under signature; épreuve d’essau (trial proof from outside the edition of 200 printed by Roger Lacouriere); printed by the artist at Atelier 17 in New York on ivory Auvergne Richard-de-Bas; published by Bordas in Paris.

As published, this etching (with additional pochoir color in the margins) is on page 51 of Volume III, L’Antitête, the three-volume anthology by poet Tristan Tzara (Romanian/French, 1893 – 1983). The third volume, Le Désespéranto (The Despairing One), was illustrated with a set of eight etchings by Miro from shaped plates. This illustrated version of the anthology was published in 1949 by Bordas in Paris.

According to William Jeffett in The Burlington Magazine article “L’Antitete: The Book as Object in the Collaboration of Tristan Tzara and Joan Miro” (Februrary 1993, Vol. 135, No. 1075, Burlington Magazine Publications, Ltd.), L’Antitete was first published in 1933 and contained writings from 1916 – when Tzara helped to form the Dada movement in Zurich – to 1932, when he had become a Surrealist. Tzara had written to Miro in June of 1946 expressing a desire to have the artist illustrate a second edition of this work with the aim of creating a luxury art book. Miro, having taken a commission by Hilton Hotels to create a large-scale mural in the US, agreed, and developed the plates with Stanley William Hayter at Atelier 17 in New York while Tzara remained in France, acting as liason between Miro and the Paris-based publisher Bordas and master printer Roger Lacouriere.

Miro wrote frequently to Tzara about his process in creating images to complement the poet’s work. Eventually, the images would include color pochoir printed by Lacouriere, but when this proof impression was made, Miro and Hayter were focusing on the feel of the composition through experimentation with automatic line, new tools, and a shaped plate.



The Artist

Joan Miró

Joan Miró was a Spanish artist who was known for his abstract and surrealist artwork. He was active in the printmaking medium, creating lithographs, etchings, and linocuts. Miró’s prints often feature biomorphic shapes, bold colours and abstract patterns that are inspired by nature, and the subconscious mind.

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