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Original screenprint in black ink on muslin, laid onto board. 1967. Signed in pencil on the original mount as issued. Numbered from the edition of 200 (plus 25 proofs). Issued for the portfolio ‘Ten from Leo Castelli’ to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Leo Castelli Gallery, 1967. Published by Tanglewood Press Inc., New York 1967.
Excellent very rich impression. Laid on the original backboard. The print surface very fine but with the very faint rubs in the outer blank areas. The original backboard with slight damage to the bottom outer right and left corners. Image to full sheet size, as issued – sheet: 355 x 330mm. Overall with the backboard: 605 x 505mm.
Lee Bontacou was one of the leading New York avant-garde artists of the early 1960’s. Painter, printmaker and sculptor, she used imagery from found objects, both in waste metal and wood as well as natural forms, combined with surfaces such as re-used textile and mixed media such as soot and carbon together with pigment, to create highly evocative constructions and forms.
In 1967 she was the only woman artist who exhibited with Leo Castelli in his ground breaking New York shows, alongside Johns, Warhol, Judd and Rauschenberg etc. From the 1970’s she also devoted much time to teaching. Recently there have been exhibitions devoted to her art in Chicago, New York (MOMA) and in The Hague. These shows focussed on her unique use of materials and also on the visual atmosphere of her painted images using a deep black surface created with a carbon spray.
‘Pebble’ is an outstanding and scarce example of her inspiration from natural forms and the visionary quality of light created by her focus on black – in this screenprint formed by a mat-black dense ink sprayed onto muslin textile. As the surface of this inking is very sensitive to rubbing virtually no examples of ‘Pebble’ have survived with the surface totally unmarked. This impression is unusually fine as there is only a very small amount of slight rubbing, seen only in a cross light. Examples are very rarely to be found.