Mary Cassatt By the Pond (Fourth State), c. 1896 Color drypoint and aquatint Image: 13 x 16 7/8 inches (33 x 42.9 cm) Paper: 16 5/8 x 19 3/4 inches (42.2 x 50.2 cm) Publisher unknown Exact edition size unknown Signed lower right in pencil
Revolutionary by Nature : Master Prints by Women Artists 1896- 2020
MARCH 3 - MAY 16, 2020
MA RY CA SSAT T
E T H E L MA RS
K Ã„T H E KO L LWI T Z
MAU D H U N T S QU I RE
MAB E L DWI GH T
C L A RE L E I GH TO N
SY B I L A N D REWS
B L A NCH E L A Z ZE L L
MAB E L A . H EWI T
AU G US TA R AT H B O N E
E L IZ AB E T H O L D S
MA RI O N G RE E NWO O D
FA N N I E HI L L S M I T H
A N N E RYA N
L I L L T SCH U D I
E M MA A M OS
L E E B O N T ECO U
H E L E N F R A N K E N T HA L E R
I DE L L E WE B E R
VIVIA N B ROWN E
MAY S T EVE N S
NA NCY S PE RO
L O U I S E N EVE L SO N
J OA N M I T CH E L L
D OT T Y AT T I E
A PRI L G O RN I K
L O U I S E B O U RG EO I S
FA I T H RI NG G O L D
Y VO N N E JAC QU E T T E
A L I SO N SA A R
L ES L E Y D I L L
K AYO U NG L E E
DE B O R A H K A SS
A l l p r i c e s a r e fo r u n f r a m e d w o r k s . Please note that all work is subjec t to prior sale, and prices may change according to availabilit y. Not all works in the c atalogue are on view in the exhibition . 7
REVOLUTIONARY BY NATURE On the hundredth anniversary of women’s suffrage and the passage of the 19th Amendment in the United States, the myriad achievements of women artists are being reflected in the curatorial programs of museums across the country. Since its founding in 1981, Mary Ryan Gallery has steadfastly embraced and championed women artists whose massive contributions to art history have long been overlooked by institutions and collectors around the world. The celebratory exhibition at Mary Ryan Gallery features a wide range of artists who have radically pushed social, institutional and artistic boundaries throughout their careers. It especially highlights artists with whom the gallery has maintained a longstanding professional relationship. Those familiar with the gallery program will surely recognize many works from previous solo and group exhibitions. A total of 122 works by 36 artists is included in this catalogue. Featuring generations of artists who have wrestled with the tenuous challenges of being a woman in the art world since the 19th century, the exhibition will include seminal works by trail blazers such as Mary Cassatt, whose color etchings count as some of the highest achievements in the history of printmaking, and Käthe Kollwitz, whose special eye for the poor and vulnerable produced deeply empathetic prints that went on to inspire entire movements of anti-war sensibilities. The exhibition also includes a major color woodcut by Blanche Lazzell, who is credited with making the first purely abstract print in the United States, featured alongside the radicalism of the midwestern American artists who made their careers in Europe but settled in Provincetown during the First World War. Further, the breathless modernism of Grosvenor school linocuts by Sybil Andrews and Lill Tschudi is exhibited alongside the social-realist leanings of the American WPA-era works by Mabel Dwight, Elizabeth Olds and Marion Greenwood. Abstraction, Surrealism and technical experimentations are in full swing in the prints of Atelier 17 and Abstract Expressionist artists such as Joan Mitchell, Lee Krasner, Helen Frankenthaler and Lee Bontecou, who had to push especially hard throughout their careers to be taken seriously as artists. Political pop and militant anti-war sentiments link Kollwitz’ oeuvre with that of 1980s feminists such as May Stevens and Nancy
Spero. A practice of appropriating the trappings of a male-dominated art history is shared by Deborah Kass and Dotty Attie. The feminist movement is only progressively being acknowledged as one of the defining artistic movements of the 20th century, and important works by Emma Amos, May Stevens and Kiki Smith express a range of perspectives within this landmark movement. The most recent works exhibited here include Kakyoung Lee’s prints-in-motion and Deborah Kass’ art historical reroutings. Throughout this selection of works, the woman’s body is free of objectification and the eroticized prism through which it has largely been considered for much of art history. The viewer is encouraged to consider the primal relationship between mother and child in all of its depth and complexity. Filling the diverse roles of advocate, destructor, creator, innovator, mother, and citizen, the seminal figure of the woman takes center stage in this survey of prints by women artists. The mediums represented in the exhibition include woodcut, etching, lithography, screenprint, collage, photo offset and digital printmaking. Some of the artists presented, such as Dotty Attie and May Stevens, made just a few prints throughout their entire career. Others, including Kiki Smith, Louise Bourgeois, Blanche Lazzell, Sybil Andrews, Mary Cassatt and Käthe Kollwitz, placed printmaking at the forefront of their practice. Sexist discrimination and exclusion have served as barriers for women in the art world throughout history. In the field of printmaking, only very few publishers would support prints made by women, and collectors were generally disinclined to consider their work. Many of the early prints in this exhibition were self-published by the artists themselves. Edition sizes were often small as there was little to no market or distribution for their works. This gendered exclusion continues to this day, a fact that is notably reflected by the distinct lack of catalogue raisonnés on prints by women artists; much research and scholarship is needed.
MARY CASSATT (1844-1926) Mary Cassatt made pictures of women that aligned with her belief that, as she put it, “women should be someone, not something.” As one of the few female (and only American) artists in the French Impressionist movement, her work distinguished itself in that she considered and depicted women as complete within themselves—individuals existing beyond the limits of male appreciation and bodily sensuality. Cassatt is best known for her paintings and prints of the daily lives and intimate bonds shared by women and children.
By the Pond features a specific mother and son duo who appear in two other prints by Cassatt— Under the Horse Chestnut Tree and The Barefooted Child. Oblivious to the outside world, the mother is fully engrossed in her child. Her son, characterized by a distinctively ruddy face and curly hair, looks away, seemingly pensive. Also titled Mother and Child before a Pool and Young Motherhood, By the Pond is Cassatt’s most ambitious color print as well as her largest and most painterly. The color in each impression varies as the artist manipulated the inks in a monotype-like fashion. This is especially apparent in the lush blues and greens of the pond, printed à la poupée. Her remarkable use of drypoint is evident in the handling of the young mother and son’s faces. In this work, Cassatt paid special attention to the subtle modeling of flesh—an approach more reminiscent of her paintings or pastels. Mary Cassatt By the Pond (Fourth State), c. 1896 Color drypoint and aquatint Image: 13 x 16 7/8 inches (33 x 42.9 cm) Paper: 16 5/8 x 19 3/4 inches (42.2 x 50.2 cm) Publisher unknown Exact edition size unknown Signed lower right in pencil Breeskin 161; Mathews & Shapiro 21 In the collections of the AIC, Baltimore, Bibliothèque d’Art et d’Archéologie, Bibliothèque Nationale, Brooklyn, Carnegie, Cleveland, Honolulu, Huntington Library, Library of Congress, MIA, Met, MoMA, NYPL, Oregon, Philadelphia $125,000 10
ETHEL MARS (1876-1959) Ethel Mars’ career is defined by a long commitment to woodcut prints. A native Midwesterner, she spent most of her life and career in France, where she lived with her life-long partner Maud Hunt Squire. They spent six years in the bohemian seaside town of Provincetown, MA, where they moved to escape the First World War. There, Mars was among the artists to champion the signature Provincetown white-line woodcut technique, an innovation that allowed artists to print several colors at once by carving grooves in the color block. This signature style immediately revolutionized wood block printing, as artists were now able to visualize the complete picture on one block of wood. This turn-of-the-century Parisian-era color woodcut counts as one of Mars’ early works and was printed from multiple blocks in typical Japanese woodcut style. In this print, Mars portrays a scene of urban gentility as two children enjoy a sunny day in the park. While in Paris, she and Squire embraced a modern and convention-flouting lifestyle. They befriended Gertrude Stein and her partner Alice B. Toklas, and became part of their social circle before Henri Matisse was even introduced to Stein’s salon. In fact, Mars features in Stein’s famous Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas. Mars’ Parisian prints are characterized by a distinctively flat and decorative quality, and she was influenced by Mary Cassatt’s Japanese-styled color etchings. Mars was one of the few Americans (and women) to exhibit and jury at the renowned Salon D’Automne. The true radicalism of Mars’ lifestyle is often overlooked in literature, as she lived in an era where being a woman came with a set of strict limitations. According to the art historian Tirza Latimer, “despite the fact that Paris offered unparalleled education and professional opportunities in the arts to women from around the world [at the turn of the century], French law denied most civil rights to women. The Napoleonic Code (…) continued to define women as ‘incompetent,’ on a par with children and the insane.” Ethel Mars In the Park, 1904 Color woodcut Image and paper: 5 1/8 x 4 7/8 inches (13 x 12.4 cm) Exact edition size unknown, only a few known impressions Ryan 5 $3,000 12
A landmark woodcut print, this work counts as the height of Mars’ woodcut achievement. Made while she still lived in France before the war broke out, this work denotes a stunning variety of color notable in the subtle variations in shades of the various flowerpots in the foreground and the geometrical abstraction of the blooms in the bushes. Each of these colors were meticulously printed individually, as this print was executed before the Provincetown conception of the white line color block. The bright yellow hat displayed here can be recognized from Mars’ La Terrace (c. 1913), which is in the collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art. Mary Ryan Gallery is the representative of Ethel Mars’ estate.
Ethel Mars Untitled (Gardener) c.1913 Color woodcut Image and paper: 10 1/2 x 8 5/8 inches (26.7 x 21.9 cm) Only known impression Ryan 36 $28,000 14
KÄTHE KOLLWITZ (1867-1945) As in much of her work, Käthe Kollwitz depicts a tragic scene in this 1910 soft-ground etching, in which a child has presumably been run over by an automobile. The scene, utterly crowded with a stifling number of onlookers and bystanders, prominently features two desolate figures, dressed in black, carrying their child away from the scene of the crime. The mother, literally curled with grief, supports her child’s head, as the father somberly carries its body. The plurality of stark tonalities in this work highlights the tragedy of the moment. In this iteration of the image, Kollwitz applied needlework to the hair and clothes of the bystanders to highlight the suffocating nature of the crowded scene. The dead child is the only figure whose form was omitted from the retroussage.
Käthe Kollwitz Überfahren (Run over), 1910 Soft-ground etching Image: 9 7/8 x 12 5/8 inches (25.1 x 32.1 cm) Paper: 12 1/8 x 5 1/4 (30.8 x 13.3 cm) Inscribed 4/XXV Published by Verlag Emil Richter Signed lower right in pencil Knesebeck 110; Klipstein 104 In the collections of the Albertina, Graphischen Sammlung Altenburg, Graphischen Sammlung München, the Hammer, Kunsthalle Bremen, Kunsthaus Jörg Maass, Kunstmuseum Moritzburg Halle, Kupferstichkabinett Berlin, Kupferstich-Kabinett Dresden, MFA Houston, NGA, NGA Victoria, Nelson-Atkins, RISD, Philadelphia, Städtisches Museum Alteiberg, Stadtgeschichtliches Museum Leipzig, Sprengel Museum Hannover, Worcester $4,500 16
In this 1928 woodcut, Käthe Kollwitz represents a biblical scene in which the virgin Mary goes to visit her cousin Elisabeth. According to Christian scripture, the two women are with child, and upon greeting Mary, Elisabeth is filled with the Holy Spirit and her baby leaps in her womb. Kollwitz was first struck by the imagery of Elisabeth and Mary upon seeing a fifteenth century painting by Konrad Witz in which Mary and Elisabeth appear in the corner of the canvas, sumptuously dressed, standing at a respectable distance from one another. The motif of these two women stayed with Kollwitz for six years. During this time, Kollwitz lost her son in the First World War and was confronted to the extreme social conditions of interwar Germany, including rising levels of fascisim, devastating levels of poverty and squalid living conditions for women and children in particular. In 1928, Kollwitz returned to the story of Mary and Elisabeth with a vastly different attitude than that of Witz. The two women depicted here are devoid of the overwhelming sense of joy described in the Biblical verse. Instead, they stand, somber, dressed humbly like 1920s-era factory women workers. There is no longer a question of respectable space between them, as Elisabeth tenderly places a hand on Mary’s abdomen, wraps her other arm around her cousin’s shoulder and whispers something in her ear. To create this print, Kollwitz used a soft wood which enabled her to create strikingly crisp details on the women’s fingers and necks. In this print, we are no longer assisting a scene of splendor but one of resilience and tender female companionship. Käthe Kollwitz Maria und Elisabeth, 1928 Woodcut Image: 14 x 13 inches (35.6 x 33 cm) Paper: 15 1/2 x 18 inches (39.4 x 45.7 cm) Edition of 150 Published by Verlag Emil Richter Signed lower right in pencil Ex-collection: Barbara Shapiro Knesebeck 249; Klipstein 234 In the collections of AIC, Albright-Knox, Cleveland, Käthe Kollwitz Museum, MFA Boston, NGA NSW, Philadelphia, RISD, SAMSF, Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, Stiftung Christliche Kunst Wittenberg, UMichigan $10,000 18
Death Seizes a Woman is from the last series of prints that Käthe Kollwitz ever made—a series of eight lithographs about death. According to the Museum of Modern Art, ten years before completing the series, Kollwitz had noted in her diary, “I must do the prints on Death. Must, must, must!” In this image there is no background and there are no observers or distractions which only amplifies the horror of the mother clinging to her child while inextricably linked with death. Here Kollwitz uses lithography to convey her message, drawn boldly for maximum impact. Throughout this series, Kollwitz portrayed the most vulnerable members of interwar German society—the impoverished women and children she long defended throughout her career—mercilessly taken away by death.
Käthe Kollwitz Death Seizes a Woman (Tod packt eine Frau), 1934 Lithograph Paper: 25 1/4 x 20 7/8 inches (64.1 x 53.1 cm) Edition of 100 Published by Alexander von der Becke, Berlin Signed lower right in pencil Knesebeck 267; Klipstein 259 In the collections of FAMSF, Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, Käthe Kollwitz Museum Köln, Kupferstichkabinett Berlin, Library of Congress, MoMA, Peabody College Collection, RISD, Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, University North Texas $14,000 20
MAUD HUNT SQUIRE (1873-1954) Like many of the women who were part of the interwar Provincetown artist colony, Maud Hunt Squire lived her life on the frontier of radical modernism and progressive feminism. She and her life-long partner Ethel Mars belonged to a generation of women artists who built their careers as expatriated Americans in France and helped push the boundaries of woodblock prints in Provincetown. Her early prints in Paris denote the influence of Mary Cassatt, whose studio neighbored Squire’s in Paris. Mars and Squire’s own collection included a Cassatt color etching. Squire’s vignettes of French urban life are graphically bold and witty, with a “fresh, transparent look like that of watercolor,” according to April Kingsley. This Parisian color etching captures the full force of the modern, liberated lifestyle that she and Mars first discovered in the French capital and would carry on for the rest of their lives. The etching’s fashionably dressed woman with orange hair and bright lipstick exudes the kind of cosmopolitan life that the artist Anne Goldthwaite, a friend of Mars and Squire’s, noted on upon visiting them in Paris, six months after their arrival: “Miss Mars had acquired flaming orange hair and both were powdered and rouged with black around the eyes until you could scarcely tell whether you looked at a face or a mask,” Goldthwaite wrote in her autobiography. “The ensemble turned out to be very handsome, and their conversation, in public that is, became bloodcurdling. I went with them to the cafe where they pre-empted seats in the best corner, never drank but one cafe crème for eight sous and gave two sous pourboire. They paid their debts and in private led exemplary lives. I hope they will never read this last statement, as they would think I was offering them an insult—breaking down the legend they have laboriously built up!” Maud Hunt Squire Renard Orange (alt. title: La Grande Fille), 1913 Color etching with aquatint and accompanying pochoir stencils, watercolor, tracing and drypoint Image: 6 1/2 x 6 inches (16.5 x 15.2 cm) Only known impression Ryan 57 $6.500 22
In the winter of 1915, the initial six members of the so-called “Provincetown Printers” Maud Hunt Squire, Ethel Mars, Ada Gilmore, Juliette Nicholsm Mildred McMillen and B.J.O. Nordfeldt were so invigorated by the creative spirit of Provincetown that they decided to stay throughout the winter. They found houses near one another, with some living in the house that is now the Provincetown Art Association. This commitment is a testament to the artistic energy found in Provincetown at this time, as many of the cottages they stayed in were not equipped to meet the rigors of winter. During this wintery period, Squire was encouraged to make her first color woodcuts, and the resulting works are far from the hesitant investigations of a novice. Unlike her peers, Squire chose to engage with the somewhat complex process of cutting key blocks in order to define her composition. The glowing colors displayed in this work surely relates to the artist’s extensive experience in color intaglio.
Maud Hunt Squire Untitled (Sweeping Snow, Provincetown), c. 1917 Provincetown color woodcut Image: 10 3/8 x 9 1/4 inches (26.4 x 23.5 cm) Paper: 18 x 15 1/2 inches (45.7 x 39.4 cm) Exact edition size unknown, very rare We know of one other impresison Signed lower right in pencil Ryan 63 $30,000 24
MABEL DWIGHT (1875-1955) Known for her great sense of wit, long-time Greenwich Village resident Mabel Dwight made her first print in 1927, at the age of fifty-two. From there, she went on to produce a body of lithographic works that distill the political and popular culture of the late 1920s and 1930s. In this lithograph, Dwight depicts the burlesque dancer as she is seldom seen in the arts. In this scene, set at Minsky’s National Winter Garden in Manhattan’s lower east side, the dancer is depicted as a towering figure, looking down on a crowd of humorously enraptured men. According to art historian Helen Langa, “Her print suggests the woman’s pleasure in her own sexual performance”—an absolute taboo in the 1920s. This view of the nude female form is remarkably different from the ways in which sexuality was traditionally defined, in which a woman’s sexuality is tacked on to her by the male viewer. In this work, it is the burlesque dancer who is in control of the unfolding situation, who commands attention, and defines her own sexual presence. It is the men in the room—comically shocked, ludically titillated—who are “other” in this lithograph.
Mabel Dwight Houston Street Burlesque, 1928 Lithograph Image: 9 3/4 × 7 15/16 inches (24.8 × 20.2 cm) Paper: 16 × 11 1/2 inches (40.6 × 29.2 cm) Edition of 50 Self published Robinson & Pirog 37 In the collections of Columbus, NYPL, Philadelphia, Yale $4,500 26
With her usual eye for satire, Mabel Dwight depicts a crowded movie theater, in which a man picks up his coat and hat and decidedly pushes his way through the audience before the film is over. The audience members sitting behind him twist and stretch their bodies so that they can watch the final close up of two lovers passionately embracing, which was typically the final scene of films in this era. A man in the audience falls asleep as a woman behind him swoons at the silver screen. A deceptively casual view on daily indignities of modern life, it is important to consider the context in which this lithograph is situated. In 1928, cinema was a new medium and social phenomenon that was indicative of an evolving, modernized society. The moving picture’s advent as an art form and channel for mass entertainment heralded an age of new technologies, changing social structures and urbanity. Though the scene Dwight depicts here—a man rudely encumbering a view at the cinema—might seem like a familiar issue in this age, it was one that, in context, implied the unstoppable progression of modernity and rapidly accelerating social change.
Mabel Dwight The Clinch, 1928 Lithograph Image: 9 x 11 5/8 inches (22.9 x 29.5 cm) Paper: 10 3/8 x 13 inches (26.4 x 33 cm) Edition of 50 Self published Robinson & Pirog 32 In the collections of the Bibliothèque Nationale, Fogg, MoMA, Philadelphia, Whitney, Wolfsonian, Yale $10,000 28
CLARE LEIGHTON (1898-1989) Clare Leighton made her first wood-engraving in 1922 while a student at the Central School of Art and Design in London. Despite her youth and relative inexperience, she quickly established a reputation as a skilled contributor to Britain’s 20th century wood-engraving revival. “Of all media wood-engraving is the one which there is the least to be taught and the most to be learnt,” Leighton wrote in 1932. She began traveling to the United States in the late 1920s and 1930s. There, she took to depicting scenes of American industry and labor. Though she was born in an upper crust British family, she quickly gained left-wing sensibilities towards war and the plight of the working class. She became an ardent pacifist upon the death of her brother, Roland, during the First World War. She moved to the United States permanently when the Second World War broke out in Europe. Most of her oeuvre is composed of small engravings that she included in the many books she authored and illustrated. Skyscrapers was executed during one of Leighton’s early trips to North America. This medium-sized engraving is one of the only two prints she made with New York City as her subject. The city was in flux during her time there, as all of the great art deco skyscrapers of New York’s skyline—the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, Rockefeller Center—were in the process of being built. Clare Leighton Skyscrapers, 1929 Wood-engraving on Japanese paper Image: 4 1/4 x 5 1/2 inches (10.8 x 14 cm) Paper: 6 7/8 x 5 7/8 inches (17.5 cm x 15 cm) Edition of 30 Published by the artist Signed lower right in pencil Hardie 132 In the collections of the Blanton, NGA of Victoria Sold 30
SYBIL ANDREWS (1898-1992) A notable British artist and member of the Grosvenor School of Art, Sybil Andrews made modernist linocuts, largely produced between 1920 and 1988. Her prints, influenced by the Cubist, Futurist and Vorticist movements, captured the dynamism of the 1920s and 1930s: images of race cars, motorcycles, machinery, sports, and daily life are all depicted in bright, vivid colors exuding speed and movement. The color linocut was a 20th-century phenomenon and Andrews’ medium of choice, as it so aptly captured the industrialist and utilitarian spirit of the modern age.
Oranges is the third linocut print that Andrews ever made. One of the only three prints for which she used a full-color background, the orange hue permeating the composition surely echoes the contents of the rows of boxes the workers are loading on the truck. The regular lines of their shadows suggest the automatic character of the work they are engaged in, and this sets the tone for the keen interest in labor and the machine age that would manifest itself throughout Andrews’ career. Mary Ryan Gallery was the first gallery to represent Andrews’ works in the United States from 1983 until her death in 1992. It held its first solo retrospective of her work in 1987. Sybil Andrews Oranges, 1929 Linocut on Japan paper Image: 10 x 7 1/4 inches (25.4 x 18.4 cm) Paper: 12 x 9 inches (30.5 x 22.9 cm) Edition of 50 Published by the artist Signed upper left in pencil “Oranges” 50/50 Coppel SA 3; White 3 In the collections of British Museum, Glenbow, RISD $32,000 32
In Skaters, Andrews demonstrates her interest in channeling the rhythm of the human figure engaged in either work or sport. This linocut, produced in the years after Andrews emigrated to Vancouver Island, Canada, highlights the vitality of the human form, which goes in hand with the ideas of vigor and speed that dominated her oeuvre. The blades of the ice skaters in this print echo the curves of the shadows behind, conveying a remarkable sense of speed. After emigrating to Canada after the Second World War in 1947, Andrews expanded her visual vocabulary to include scenes of nature and agricultural labor. In the thirty years of her life spent in North America, Andrews lived in relative isolation, having lost the level of recognition and the Grosvenor School artistic community she had in England. She continued making linocuts her entire life. Andrews received important critical attention for her art in the last decade of her life from Canadian, American and British Museums. In total, Andrews made about 80 linocuts; half of her output was completed before 1939.
Sybil Andrews Skaters, 1953 Linocut Image: 8 x 15 inches (20.3 x 38.1 cm) Paper: 11 x 17 inches (27.9 x 43.2 cm) Edition of 60 Published by the artist Signed upper right in pencil Coppel SA 52; White 49 In the collections of the British Museum, DIA $32,000 34
BLANCHE LAZZELL (1878-1956) According to art historian Barbara Shapiro, “both Georgia O’Keeffe and Blanche Lazzell broke new ground in their early non-representational observations of the natural world and, significantly, could be described as the first women artists in America to work in a modernist style.” Lazzell was a master of the white-line woodcut, her medium of choice, which she discovered in 1915 in Provincetown. Lumber Wharf is not only an example of her remarkable use of the white-line woodcut technique, but also an astonishing scene of the Provincetown harbor. A highly educated and unconventionally independent woman, Lazzell took up in a “fish house studio” in 1916—an old fisherman’s wharf overlooking the harbor converted into her private studio. Though she worked in several mediums, it is via the white line woodcut medium that she achieved most of her fame, mastering the medium to create her signature imagery composed of vivid colors, clean lines and above all, “sincerity.” Each of her woodblock prints are like paintings. Every color was painted on the block individually, resulting in each impression being unique. Lazzell often exhibited both the block and the print because she considered the block as an important work of art within itself. It is remarkable to have both the print and the block together. Influenced by the radical sensibilities that her fellow Provincetown artists imported from Europe, she went to study Cubism in Paris during the interwar period. Abstraction became an important influence in her artistic practice. “The abstract, as we consider it in painting today, is an organization of color, whether the color is expressed in planes, or in forms, or in volumes—isn’t music the organization of sound?” Lazzell wrote while in Paris in 1924. Blanche Lazzell Lumber Wharf, c. 1929 Color woodcut and carved woodblock (pair) Image: 12 x 14 inches (30.5 x 35.6 cm) Paper: 15 x 17 inches (38.1 x 43.2 cm) Woodblock: 12 x 14 inches (30.5 x 35.6 cm) Signed, titled, and notated on verso 254/2. Lazzell had her own numbering system and this indicates it is the 254th print of all woodcuts she had made to date and the second impression from this particular woodblock. According to Lazzzell’s own records she made only 4 impressions Published by the artist Sold 36
MABEL A. HEWIT (1903-1984) Though Mabel Hewit only spent one summer in Cape Cod, MA, its eponymous white-line woodcut defined her visual style after learning it from Blanche Lazzell in the early 1930s. She used this technique throughout her career to depict Midwestern scenes in her native Ohio. “I like block printing,” she once explained, “because it gives the family of moderate means an opportunity to have something of color in their homes.”
Moving Day in Provincetown counts as one of Hewit’s earliest prints. After discovering the whiteline woodcut technique, Hewit initially depicted many Provincetown scenes thereby following her teacher Lazzell’s example. Though it was the site of her artistic birth, Hewit only had one exhibition in Provincetown, in 1934. She went on to personalize this technique through the elaboration of her own distinctive style. Hewit lived modestly and did not receive any critical attention during her lifetime. She often carved on double-sided blocks to save money. Many of her works were rediscovered when family members visited the Boston Museum of Fine Arts’ traveling exhibitionParis to Provincetown: Blanche Lazzell and the Color Woodcut at the Cleveland Museum of Art. This encounter eventually resulted in the Cleveland Museum’s solo exhibition, Midwest Modern: The Color Woodcuts of Mabel Hewit, 26 years after her death.
Mabel A. Hewit Moving Day in Provincetown, c. 1930 White line woodcut Image: 13 1/2 x 11 1/2 inches (34.3 x 29.2 cm) Paper: 18 x 14 1/2 inches (45.7 x 36.8 cm) Only a few known impressions Published by the artist Signed lower right in pencil $20,000 38
Made at a time when Mabel Hewit’s mastery of the white-line woodcut technique was reaching its apex, Spring Gardening depicts a domestic scene. At this point in her career, Hewit was delving into increasingly complex compositions—as exemplified here—as well as sophisticated studies of adjacent hues and color variations in her work. According to the catalogue of Midwest Modern: The Color Woodcuts of Mabel Hewit, “Seemingly unassuming, Hewit’s woodcuts nonetheless have an immediacy and impact that belie their small size. Charming and joyfully colored, they also exemplify new ways artists were describing the world. Applying modernist ideas to the white-line woodcut technique, Hewit produced a meaningful corpus of work. … Totally involved in producing prints and crafts for five decades, in 1980 at the age of seventy-seven, Hewit remarked, ‘Art was my life.’”
Mabel A. Hewit Spring Gardening, c. 1937 White line woodcut Image: 12 1/4 x 11 inches (31.1 x 28 cm) Paper: 18 5/16 x 14 inches (46.5 x 35.5 cm) Edition size unknown, very rare, a few known impressions Published by the artist Signed lower right in pencil Glaubinger 51 $12,000 40
AUGUSTA RATHBONE (1897-1990) A California native, much of Augusta Rathbone’s artistic development occurred in 1920s Paris. After attending the Académie de la Grande Chaumière, Rathbone began her career as a painter before learning etching and aquatint from Nora Hamilton, a Parisian-based artist from Chicago. From there began a long career in printmaking, in which Rathbone frequently took to depicting urban or natural landscape imagery. This 1930s etching with stunning aquatint was made during the artist’s stay in Paris in the years leading up to the Second World War. Rathbone depicts here the Avenue de l’Observatoire, a large avenue situated at the heart of historic Paris that runs along part of the famous Luxembourg Gardens. Though Rathbone’s early prints were characterized by muted colors, her palette brightened in the 1930s after a prolonged stay in the French Riviera where she documented twenty Mediterranean villages. The vivid green in this works surely reflects the artist’s embrace of saturation. All of her works were made in small editions and were self-published.
Augusta Rathbone Avenue de L’Observatoire Paris, c. 1935 Etching and aquatint Image: 8 x 11 1/2 inches (20.3 x 29.2 cm) Paper: 13 x 19 3/4 inches (33 x 50.2 cm) Edition of 16 Published by the artist Signed bottom right in pencil $650 42
ELIZABETH OLDS (1896-1991) Elizabeth Olds was committed to the idea that art should be democratic and accessible. Strongly influenced by left-winged sensibilities and the art of Jose Clemente Orozco, Olds portrays a row of burlesque dancers with a keen sense of satire and rhythmic modernist style. Olds’ insistence on the mixed racial identities of the women in this row of dancers might be related to prevailing Communist ideals or Orrozco’s insistence on the importance of mestizo cultures in Mexico. The repeated diagonal lines drawn by the dancers’ arms and legs convey an overwhelming sense of dynamism and angular energy. The wall-like structure that their linked bodies form across the lithograph suggest a sense of solidarity. The dancers take up most of the space in this composition, and only four balding heads in the audience clownishly represent the act of looking at these women. Though the Depression era WPA/FAB Graphic Division had a rule against portraying nudes, many artists were drawn to portraying semi-nude burlesque dancers. Olds took on the motif of sexualized women to make a political statement on labor solidarity and power.
Elizabeth Olds Burlesque, 1936 Lithograph Image: 14 1/2 x 10 1/2 inches (36.8 x 26.7 cm) Paper: 16 1/2 x 12 1/2 inches (41.9 x 31.8 cm) Edition of 15 Published by the WPA In the collections of Philadelphia, SAAM NFS 44
MARION GREENWOOD (1909-1970) An artist of the WPA generation and later one of the only two women artists appointed by the United States Army Art Program as an artist war correspondent in the Second World War, Marion Greenwood began her career as a young student at the Art Student League. Her work was strongly influenced by her experience working on murals in Mexico during the 1930s, where she met many artists including Leopoldo Mendez, Alfredo Zalce and Pablo O’Higgins. There, she familarized herself with social realism and depicted primarily working-class people, indigenous people and people of African heritage. The social realist style she learned in left-wing artistic circles in Mexico permeated her work for the rest of her career. Greenwood returned to the United States in the 1930s and joined the Associated American Artists Gallery (AAA). During the war, AAA commissioned lithographs from its artists and sold them in large editions (typically of 250) at a low price to the public. These commissions enabled Greenwood to support herself while her husband was out at war. This 1942 lithograph, depicting a moment of boredom on New Year’s Eve, is one such print.
Marion Greenwood New Year’s Eve, 1942 Lithograph Image: 9 x 11 3/4 inches (23 x 29.9 cm) Edition of 250 Published by the AAA Signed lower right in pencil In the collections of Carnegie, FAMSF, NGA Czestochowski 1942.025 $1,800 46
SUE FULLER (1914-2006) Sue Fuller first gained visibility as an artist while a student at Stanley William Hayter’s Atelier 17. Fuller served as Hayter’s studio assistant in lieu of paying tuition, and this experience provided her with extensive exposure to various printmaking techniques. Fuller’s early etchings demonstrate a commitment to technical and material innovation that would last throughout her career. While at Atelier 17, she experimented with a wide range of materials, including textiles (which Hayter often used in his own work), household goods and grocery items. For example, she used corn syrup as a medium for lift-ground etching, a technique she taught French surrealist André Mason. Her work often toyed with the limits between domestic craft and the fine arts. Her mother was skilled in knitting and crocheting, and Fuller incorporated these ‘womanly’ materials in her work, pressing lace and fabric into the wax coating the etching plate. “I was born liberated before there was Women’s lib … I was way ahead of my time! They can call me token if they like, but there weren’t many others around doing what I did then,” Fuller has said. An early relief print, Tides of the City closely follows the style and technique of her mentor Hayter found in his Myth of Creation, 1940. Three abstracted biomorphic figures struggle against the lace ribbons that delineate them. According to Christina Weyl’s Women of Atelier 17, “Fuller was, at this moment, just beginning to see linkages between string’s use for soft-ground etching and its function in many non-Western cultures for telling stories.” Sue Fuller Tides of the City, 1945 Soft ground etching printed in relief Image: 14 3/4 x 11 7/8 inches (37.5 x 30. 2 cm) Paper: 17 x 13 inches (43.2 x 33 cm) Edition of 50 Published by the artist Signed lower left in pencil In the collections of MFA Boston, Baltimore, Philadelphia $2,500 48
Sue Fuller’s radically innovative use of soft ground etching is like nothing else that was done in the United States at the time. Fuller took to directly collaging textiles onto the metal printing plates, sometimes without even using an etching needle to define her compositions. Fuller was reportedly inspired by Mary Cassatt, whom she believed “used the impression of the texture of materials in a print—a “collage” technique in the metal-plate medium—as early as 1881,” she wrote in a 1950 article for Magazine of Art.
Sue Fuller Young Bird, 1946 Etching and soft ground Image: 13 15/16 x 10 3/4 inches (35.4 x 27.3 cm) Paper: 18 1/8 x 12 7/8 inches (46 x 32.7 cm) Edition 22/30 Published by the artist In the collection of Brooklyn $900 50
FANNIE HILLSMITH (1911-2007) After a brief stint teaching at Black Mountain College, Fannie Hillsmith began a four-year association with Stanley William Hayter’s Atelier 17 in 1946. Atelier 17 was known for allowing women an unusual amount of control over the print production of their prints that went against traditional divisions of artistic labor at the time (in which women’s roles in the studio were often limited to copying or commercial work). At Atelier 17, women were afforded a chance to oversee every step of the printmaking process—from conception to marking, inking and printing their plates. Thus, Hillsmith joined in the 1940s a workshop that fostered an uncommon amount of creative freedom and support for women. This etching is an example of the mature work that Hillsmith produced while at Atelier 17. She worked besides exiled European artists such as Joan Miró, Yves Tanguy and Jacques Lipchitz, and subsequently developed an interest in Cubism. Hillsmith began using Cubist imagery to process and distill emotional states of being in her work. “I am interested in abstract art, but I am also interested in the message—the problem is to convey feeling with the impact of the abstract,” Hillsmith said.
Fannie Hillsmith Composition, 1947 Etching Image: 5 7/8 x 7 3/4 inches (14.9 x 19.7 cm) Paper: 10 x 13 inches (25.4 x 33 cm) Edition of 30 Published by the artist Signed lower left in pencil $900 52
Fannie Hillsmith Victorian, 1948 Etching Image: 8 3/4 x 5 7/8 inches (22.2 x 14.9 cm) Paper: 13 x 10 inches (33 x 25.4 cm) Edition of 30 Published by the artist Signed lower left in pencil Teller 3 In the collections of the McNay, MoMA $1,600 54
ANNE RYAN (1889-1954) A New Jersey homemaker turned Greenwich Village artist, Anne Ryan began her artistic career in her mid-forties. An unorthodox student, she began learning printmaking at Atelier 17 after being awarded a coveted half-scholarship by Stanley William Hayter himself. Although it was considered surprising that Hayter chose to award such an esteemed scholarship to Ryan—a virtually untrained woman—it was likely her enthusiasm and eagerness to learn that convinced him to sponsor her. The two became fast friends as her career progressed. She was among the few women artists to be included at the infamous 9th Street Art Exhibition of 1951. In 1945, Ryan adopted the Provincetown white-line woodcut, a technique she learned at Atelier 17 from Louis Schanker. She applied a single carved woodblock on black paper, resulting in grittier compositions. Instead of a white line, however, her finished image is a black-line woodcut printed on dark wrapping paper used to protect photographic paper. The wrinkles visible in the colors are themselves inherent to the wrapping paper. In Capriccioso, linear, abstract figures pop out of the background, denoting the artist’s keen interest in visual and technical experimentations. Ryan’s woodcuts further strove to emulate the painterly gestures of the New York School with thickly applied ink that she “let dry two weeks and then reprinted on on light colors with very little ink” in order to enrich the color and surface texture. Anne Ryan Capriccioso, 1947-48 Black-line woodcut Image: 11 1/2 x 20 inches (29.2 x 50.8 cm) Paper: 16 x 23 inches (40.6 x 58.4 cm) Edition of 20 Published by the artist Signed lower left in white ink $4,500 56
LILL TSCHUDI (1911-2004) Although Lill Tschudi’s linocuts often deal with Futurist themes of modernity, speed and industry, she chose to depict a gentler scene of urbanity in this 1950s print of Venice. Instead, Tschudi offers a sense of old-world flair as Venetians amble down Piazza San Marco. In this work, she demonstrates an astonishing eye for architecture and abstraction, echoing in the many vertical lines of the composition the narrowness of the medieval city. Tschudi made a number of scenes in Venice as she attended the masked balls there. Swiss-born Tschudi made her name as one of the few foreign members of the British Grosvenor School of Art. She enrolled at the Grosvenor School in 1929 at the age of eighteen, and though she only spent six months as a formal student there, she became lifelong friends with her teacher Claude Flight, with whom she kept in close contact until his death in 1955. Tschudi played an important role in the development of the school’s machine age aesthetic, depicting transportation and urban dynamism with a strong cubist and futurist bend. She made 355 linocuts throughout her career. Though women over the age of thirty were given the right to vote in the UK in 1918, Tschudi came from a canton (or state) in Switzerland where universal suffrage was not passed until 1970. Mary Ryan Gallery was Tschudi’s first representative during her lifetime, and introduced her works for the first time in the United States in solo exhibitions.
Lill Tschudi Venice, c. 1955 Linocut Image: 12 3/4 x 7 3/4 inches (32.4 x 19.7 cm) Paper: 14 3/4 x 10 inches (37.5 x 25.4 cm) Edition of 50 Published by the artist Signed lower center in pencil $8,000 58
EMMA AMOS (b. 1938) Emma Amos is a wildly inventive printmaker, having self-published almost all of her print editions and monotypes since the late 1950s. Her early works from the 1960s and 1970s experiment with handmade paper, new materials and printing one image across multiple sheets. Her printmaking work in the 1980s and beyond include collage, weaving and photo transfer. This early abstract silkscreen is vivid and colorful. This silkscreen affords the viewer a glimpse of sun light gushing through what can be seen as bright red venetian blinds. During this period in the 1960s the artist was focusing on her Attitudes paintings. This is one of the few prints related to that colorful body of work. â€ƒ
Emma Amos Inside and Outside, 1966 Silkscreen 25 x 37 inches (63.5 x 94 cm) Edition of 21 Published by the artist $10,000 60
In her work, Amos frequently depicted black performers juxtaposed with wild animals—thus eyeing the fleeting and illusory power, both in physicality and influence, of the black celebrity. “I want to make clear the relationships between artists, athletes, entertainers, and thinkers, and the prowess, ferocity, steadfastness, and dynamism of animals,” Amos told Lucy Lippard in 1989. Her transformative investigation into the depictions of the black body further extends to her representation of Josephine Baker, an important subject for the artist. The French-American icon, who was politically vocal and arguably the most visible black entertainer of her time, figured as a new way to reconstruct blackness. Baker, who in fact owned various jungle animals, is represented in the bottom right vignette of this print while Billie Holiday is represented in the top left vignette. They are both depicted nude and juxtaposed with wild animals in order to evoke the grace, beauty and strength of both figures. In this work, Amos attempts a revisionist take on the nude, suggesting not exotic sexuality but vulnerability. The motif of a nude black woman is one with which Amos struggled, and this print is the only work in her oeuvre in which a black woman is depicted naked. “I did not want to see black women with no clothes on,” she said in 1995. “It means something else when a black woman has no clothes on… It means you are for sale.”
Emma Amos Creatures of the Night, 1985 Set of 4 intaglio printed silk collagraphs 22 x 30 inches (55.9 x 76.2 cm) each Edition of 15 Published by the artist $16,000 for the set 62
By employing the confederate flag in her artistic vocabulary, Emma Amos examines the flag’s tenuous position in the American psyche. A painful symbol of conflict and segregation, racial hatred and pride, patriotism and division, the confederate flag is interrupted in this print by a photo transfer of three figures defiantly standing at the cross of the blue “x” of the flag. Of mixed races and genders, the three figures stand with their arms crossed against their chests. The most clearly visible of these three figures is the artist herself, standing on the right.
Emma Amos Confederates, 1994 Collagraph and photo transfer 18 x 20 inches (45.7 x 50.8 cm) Edition of 7 Published by the artist $8,000 64
LEE BONTECOU (b. 1931) Known for her sculptural interpretations of dizzyingly hypnotic black holes, Lee Bontecou made her first print in 1962 after being invited by Tatyana Grosman to experiment with the medium in her print workshop, Universal Limited Art Editions. It is there that Bontecou began to create lithographs and etchings that she would title to reflect the materials she used and the order in which the prints were made. This print is the first in a series of intimately-scaled etchings in which Bontecou experiments with two-dimensional representations of her “crater” sculptural work. The Saint Louis Art Museum notes, “In this etching, the gradation of value from white to black in combination with repeated oval shapes creates a hypnotic sense of spatial movement. The irregular texture of the inked plate printed onto handmade paper further emphasizes the dimensional presence of the image.”
Lee Bontecou Etching One, 1967 Etching and aquatint 25 7/8 x 19 9/16 inches (65.7 x 49.7 cm) Edition of 35 Published by Universal Limited Art Editions Ex-collection: Barbara Shapiro In the collections of AIC, British Museum, the Met, MoMA, SLAM, Whitney $6,000 66
HELEN FRANKENTHALER (1928-2011) A prime example of how she was able to duplicate the vibrant colors and amorphous forms of her paintings in her prints, Helen Frankenthaler further played with the importance of framing and presentation in this work. By creating two variations of this mauve shape, the first variation placed vertically, and the second horizontally, Frankenthaler toyed with the different visual tensions the two orientations provide. By placing the horizontal image exceptionally low on the sheet of paper and tweaking the splashes of orange and green, Frankenthaler pulls the viewer’s eye in very different ways using the same dynamic shape in both prints. Frankenthaler made Variation II on “Mauve Corner” from four stones.
Helen Frankenthaler Variation II on “Mauve Corner,” 1969 Lithograph 20 x 25 inches (50.8 x 63.5 cm) Edition of 21 Published by Universal Limited Art Editions Ex-collection: Barbara Shapiro Harrison 17 In the collections of AIC, Albright-Knox, Art Gallery Ontario, Kemper, the Met, MoMA Sold 68
Helen Frankenthaler made her first print in 1961 and later cut her first woodcut by hand using a jigsaw in 1973. In total, the artist made some 125 prints, including 25 woodcuts. Frankenthaler first collaborated with the master printer Ken Tyler in 1976, who encouraged her to transpose her lyrical aesthetics to the notoriously rigid medium of woodcutting. For Frankenthaler, investigating the technical realities of woodcutting to recreate her signature gestural style—including her infamous color stain painting technique—posed something of a challenge. In the thirty years that Frankenthaler collaborated with Tyler, she radically shifted the parameters of woodcutting. Through a wide range of bold artistic innovations, Frankenthaler wrestled and wrangled with the woodcuts, incorporated it into her unmistakable style, and refocused the contemporary associations with the woodcutting medium to one of fluid abstraction. The Tales of Genji, a series of six woodcut prints named after an 11th century Japanese epic by Murasaki Shikibu (the world’s first woman novelist), is the pinnacle of Frankenthaler’s experimental investigation into woodcutting. With these works, Frankenthaler strove to create “a woodcut with painterly resonance,” according to Tyler. “None of us knew what we were doing … and half the time we didn’t know what we were saying. The technique had absolutely no history. We were making it up as we went along.” Tales of Genji I was made of eleven woodblocks and is composed of thirtyfour colors. Though it took the artist and the studio three years (1995-1998) to complete this series, Frankenthaler has stated that “A really good picture looks as if it’s happened at once. It’s an immediate image…one really beautiful wrist motion that is synchronised with your head and heart, and you have it, and therefore it looks as if it were born in a minute.” Helen Frankenthaler Tales of Genji I, 1998 Woodcut 41 3/4 x 47 1/8 inches (106 x 119.7 cm) Edition of 30 Published by Tyler Graphics In the collections of NG of Australia, University of Michigan, Walker $95,000 70
IDELLE WEBER (b. 1932) Upon first moving to New York City, Idelle Weber was definitively struck by the fish-bowl-like existence led by office workers in the glittering glass skyscrapers that would come to define the cityâ€™s skyline. This fascination inspired Weberâ€™s signature style in which she depicts human figures as one-dimensional silhouettes in business attire, as though one were peaking at them from far away in brightly lit offices at night. In this work, Weber places her midnight silhouettes in transparent acrylic cubes, thus recreating her initial impression of these anonymous figures. At the time that this work was made, plastic was a relatively new medium, and as such it was quite unusual and dramatic to combine silkscreen printmaking with acrylic.
Idelle Weber Untitled (pair), 1970 Screenprint on acrylic cubes 4 x 4 x 4 inches (10.2 x 10.2 x 10.2 cm) each Edition of 100 annouced, approximately 28 produced Unpublished In the collection of MoMA $30,000 for the pair 72
VIVIAN BROWNE (1929-1993) In 1839, African prisoners aboard the slave ship Amistad mutinied. The ship was seized off the coast of Long Island and the mutineers were brought to trial. The case received widespread attention, and former President John Quincy Adams headed the defense of the African captives before the Supreme Court. They were ultimately freed and allowed to return home. Vivian Browne learned about the Amistad incident during the late 1960s, when she became involved in black rights issues. Using etching, a medium she perfected at Robert Blackburn’s workshop, Browne brought forward her subject using random markings on the plate. According to curator Deborah Wye, “the result is a symbolic statement on freedom and slavery. She interprets the image on the right as a gesture of flight and escape, and that on the left as a suggestion of cotton bales and burlap, which evokes the lives of those left behind.”
Vivian Browne Amistad, 1970 Etching 15 3/8 x 22 1/8 inches (39.1 x 56.2 cm) Edition of 50 Published by the artist NFS 74
Vivian Browne made few prints in the 1970’s. Obeji—an ambiguous work that can be interpreted as the abstracted silhouette of a cat and the body of a seated person with only the bottom part of the head depicted—was self-published and printed in brown ink. The word ‘Obeji’ appears to be a surname of historian Fred Colman’s family in Africa. Browne and Colman traveled to several countries in Africa together, including Nigeria where Browne studied at the University of Ibadan in 1972. These travels were the inspiration for her African series of prints and paintings.
Vivian Browne Obeji, 1973 Etching and aquatint 22 7/8 x 18 7/8 inches (58.1 x 47.9 cm) Edition of 35 Published by the artist In the collection of Driskell $5,000 76
MAY STEVENS (1924-2019) May Stevens was a feminist activist artist who came to prominence during the 1960s. Stevens studied at the Massachusetts College of Art, the Art Students League, and the Académie Julian in Paris. She later taught at the School of Visual Arts, NY from 1961-1996. She was a founding member of Heresies, A Feminist Publication on Art and Politics (1976). In 1967, Stevens began painting “Big Daddy,” a smug, fleshy, bald and bespectacled middle-aged figure, often naked and accompanied by a bulldog, loosely based on an image of her father. Born out of Stevens’ passionate involvement in both the antiwar and feminist movements, Big Daddy was to Stevens, “…a relative of mine who represented to me an authoritarian and closed attitude towards the world. It was a middle-American attitude towards culture, towards politics, towards Black people, and towards Jews. He was a person who stopped thinking when he was twenty and hadn’t opened his mind to anything since.”
Big Daddy Times Three studies Big Daddy’s silhouetted figure in three perspectives against a black background. Vaguely reminiscent of a mugshot, but with beautifully drawn features in red, the silkscreen casts a disparaging eye on the pasty, smirking figure that served as a fixture in Stevens’ oeuvre for nearly a decade. Stevens only made a few prints of her Big Daddy subject—and consistently only used silkscreen for all of them.
May Stevens Big Daddy Times Three, 1973 Silkscreen 22 1/2 x 27 inches (57.2 x 68.6 cm) Edition of 75 Published by the artist $6,500 78
Over a period dating from the late 1970s to the early 1990s, May Stevens produced over seventy works exploring the parallels between Stevens’ mother, Alice Stevens, and Rosa Luxemburg, a Polish-German Marxist philosopher, prolific writer, and activist whose legacy includes co-founding the German Communist Party, and whose brutal murder in 1919 is commemorated to this day. Stevens produced some thirty collages, thirteen drawings, a handful of prints, and approximately fourteen paintings that endeavored to celebrate and validate both women for who they were. In this serigraph, under various images of her mother and the woman Stevens sometimes referred to as her “spiritual mother,” she wrote, “Rosa Luxemburg, politician, revolutionary theoretician and leader, murder victim (1871-1919). Alice Stevens, mother, housewife, ironer and washer, inmate of hospitals and nursing homes (born 1895). Ordinary. Extraordinary.”
May Stevens Ordinary Extraordinary, 1982 Serigraph 30 x 22 inches (76.2 x 55.9 cm) Edition of 36 Published by the artist In the collection of Reynolda House Museum $4,000 80
Skylight relates to May Steven’s painting series, Sea of Words and Rivers and Other Bodies of Water, which began in 1990. The images of water (rivers, lakes, lagoon, etc) are overlaid with shimmering metallic text, signifying important literary passages, memories, songs, thoughts and emotions engrained in both the heart and mind of the artist. In this work, most of the text— designed to appear illegible—is by Virginia Woolf. In this lithograph, seven silhouetted figures fluidly float in motion along a shore, their presence pronounced by the surrounding water and sky. The background printed in nuanced shades of grayish blues, mauves, and whites evokes a moment of sundown, when the glowing sun subdued by the darkness of the night turns to a soft circle of amber, creating a milky purplish light. The gold metallic writing unifies the composition, waxing and waning depending on how the light hits the work. Stevens has long been interested in the relationship between words and water, as words are a tool used to teach incoming generations, while water is intergenerationally omnipresent.
May Stevens Skylight, 2006 Lithograph 21 1/2 x 29 1/2 inches (54.6 x 74.9 cm) Edition of 75 Published by Mary Ryan Gallery In the collections of the Hunter, MIA, Texas Tech $3,800 82
In this lithograph and silkscreen, a single boat drifts out on the water, where atmospheric color washes blur the boundary between water and sky. A lone figure is visible in the boat—which in Stevens’ work is always meant to be a woman representing all of humankind. Deep greens and rich blues evoke a nighttime scene that, while mysterious, is more promising than ominous. Stevens’ characteristic metallic script—based on poems, songs, or her original writings—shimmers on the water’s surface surrounding the boat, accompanying it into the night. Stevens felt that the lithograph was initially too dark, so she added a layer of silkscreen to define the silvery moonlight. Stevens wanted the colors in this work to resemble a peacock’s feathers. Stevens’ made very few prints throughout her lifetime. Into the Night is the sixth and last print she published with Mary Ryan Gallery.
May Stevens Into the Night, 2009 Lithograph and silkscreen 18 x 23 1/8 inches (45.7 x 58.7 cm) Edition of 75 Published by Mary Ryan Gallery In the collection of the British Museum $3,000 84
LEE KRASNER (1908-1984) Though Lee Krasner only made 23 prints throughout her career, the printmaking process was crucial to her stylistic development. In 1975, Transworld Art Company commissioned the Free Space series in celebration of the US bicentennial. Krasner subsequently reworked the design for her initial screenprint and created three variations of the print. These three new variations were based on lithographs of the same stone as Free Space, but were printed in three different colors. On each of these prints, identical green shapes were glued on the compositions, in such a way that these works are difficultly identified as collages. Reflecting on her career, Krasner said, “I was a woman, Jewish, a widow, a damn good painter, thank you, and a little too independent.” An accomplished artist, Krasner was often overshadowed by her famous husband Jackson Pollock, and frequently overlooked by the male-centric art establishment. In the 1930s, her teacher Hans Hofmann said her work was “so good, you’d never know it was done by a woman.” Though Krasner declared in the 1970s that any woman denying prejudice should be “slapped,” she insisted, “I’m an artist, not a woman artist, not an American artist.”
Lee Krasner Free Space (light green), 1975 Silkscreen with collage 19 1/2 x 26 inches (49.5 x 66 cm) Edition of 50 Published by Transworld Art Landau 559(1) In the collection of FAMSF, Reynolda House Museum NFS 86
Lee Krasner Free Space (blue), 1975 Silkscreen 19 1/2 x 26 inches (49.5 x 66 cm) Edition of 175 Published by Transworld Art Landau 559 In the collection of Guild Hall, Hofstra, Hood, Joslyn Art Museum, Snite $5,000 88
NANCY SPERO (1926-2009) Nancy Spero was a pioneering feminist and activist with a deep concern for the female condition. Her work focuses on daily injustices, gendered violence and the oppression that women have faced around the globe and throughout human history. An impassioned anti-war activist, Spero created works of art that simultaneously signaled a deep sense of sympathy for her fellow human as well as a profound anger on behalf of humanity. Spero often dealt with language and its relation to violence against women and the women’s rights movement. In this lithograph, she demonstrates the parallels between fragility and steely resolve. Indeed, the delicate nature of the paper is in sharp contrast with the explicit nature of the message she chose to include. Taken from a 1974 article in the USLA Reporter, a publication of the US Committee for Justice to Latin American Political Prisoners, this devastating announcement alludes to the use of torture against women in prisons and concentration camps throughout Chile under Augusto Pinochet’s dictatorship. In particular, 36 women were held and tortured at a prison called “El Buen Pastor” or “The Good Shepherd” at the time of this work’s production.
Nancy Spero Torture in Chile, 1976 Lithograph 22 x 30 inches (55.9 x 76.2 cm) Edition of 19 Published by A.I.R. Gallery In the collections of SAAM, Whitney $4,000 90
LOUISE NEVELSON (1899-1988) Though she is most famous for her sculptural work, Louise Nevelson made over one hundred prints and multiples over the course of her career—an important component of her artistic practice. Her commitment to printmaking led her to experiment with various layering techniques and textural variations in her work. Nevelson first began making prints at Stanley William Hayter’s New York Atelier 17 in the 1950s. In the 1970s, she began to work with wood maquettes and cast paper pulp at Pace Editions. She made Morning Haze by pressing paper pulp in rubber molds of wooden maquettes. The cast paper resulted in singularly sculptural prints with a strong tactile, organic quality. Of her process, Nevelson said in 1982: “Sometimes it’s the material that takes over; sometimes it’s me that takes over. I permit them to play, like a seesaw. I use action and counteraction, like in music, all the time . . .” “I wish to own my time and to claim it.” Nevelson asserted. “My total conscious search in life has been for a new seeing, a new image, a new insight. This search not only incudes the object, but the in-between places, the dawns and the dusks, the objective world, the heavenly spheres, the places between the land and the sea. Whatever creation man invents, the images can be found in nature. We cannot see anything of which we are not already aware. The inner and the outer equal one.”
Louise Nevelson Morning Haze, 1978 White cast paper relief diptych 33 x 46 inches (83.8 x 116.8 cm) Edition of 125 Published by Pace Prints $18,000 92
JOAN MITCHELL (1925-1992) Joan Mitchell was a leading figure of Abstract Expressionism and one of the youngest and only women members of ‘The Club,’ the East Eighth Street gathering place where prominent Abstract Expressionists met for weekly discussions in the 1950s. Mitchell’s printmaking activity occurred in spurts of productivity every decade or so. She began making prints in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Mitchell began collaborating with the Tyler Graphics studio in 1981 at master printer Ken Tyler’s insistence that her painterly vision—composed of fluid filaments of color and calligraphic landscapes—could be translated into lithographs. The Sides of a River series are an example of the work she produced during this time that toyed with the technical limits of its medium. She would return to Tyler Graphics in the 1990s, toward the end of her life.
Joan Mitchell Sides of a River I, 1981 Lithograph 42 1/2 x 32 1/2 inches (108 x 82.6 cm) Edition of 70 Published by Tyler Graphics In the collections of the Met, NG Australia, Tate, Walker $15,000 94
After a pause in print production in the second half of the 1980s, Joan Mitchell returned to the Tyler Graphics studio in 1992 having been diagnosed with lung cancer to produce her final body of prints. Trees I counts among the largest prints in her oeuvre, and the remarkable care and precision she poured into this series make them amongst the most vigorous works of her career. She made only 8 large-scale diptych lithographs: Trees I-IV and Sunflowers I-IV, all made in 1992. “When I got a rare chance to see her drawing, the fluidity and strength of her movement was extraordinary. It wasn’t Motherwell’s automatism—it was considered, deliberate,” master printer and print publisher Ken Tyler recalled. “She accepted everything quite slowly—normally color was trial-and-error. If the drawing was wrong, she’d throw it out. She wouldn’t even try to correct.”
Joan Mitchell Trees I, 1992 Lithograph 57 7/8 x 82 3/8 inches (147 x 209.2 cm) Edition of 34 Published by Tyler Graphics In the collections of Cleveland, Currier, MIA, NG Australia, Walker $60,000 96
DOTTY ATTIE (b. 1938) Known for taking on old master paintings and parsing them out in her work, Dotty Attie annexes and reconfigures patriarchal narratives that have long shaped the course of art history. Attie’s method typically involves deconstructing and reassembling famous works of art in order to highlight how women are seen or painted. She underlines the power of context, intent and perspective by reframing old master images into lewd or sexual scenes and captioning her reimagined compositions with her own stories. In this work, Attie recontextualizes Agnolo Bronzino’s Venus, Cupid, Folly and Time to depict an incestuous mother-son duo. “Mother and he had always been very close,” the print reads before zooming in on various body parts of the naked mother and child in sixteen lithographs delicately hand colored in shades reminiscent of Victorian illustrations. These images are stitched together by a text written by the artist that imply a sexual relationship between mother and son. By inserting such a taboo topic as that of incest, Attie highlights the sense of malaise vis-à-vis the treatment of women and their bodies in traditional art history, outing the male gaze for all to see.
Dotty Attie Mother’s Kisses, 1982 Lithograph with hand coloring and boxed portfolio of 26 hand colored lithographs 35 1/2 x 26 1/2 inches (90.2 x 67.3 cm) Edition of 25 Published by Solo Press In the collections of Amherst, British Museum, Cantor, Davison, NG Australia, University of Michigan, Whitney, Yale $6,500 98
APRIL GORNIK (b. 1953) Known for her mastery of landscape painting, Gornik transposes her silvery, flickering light to paper using the reduction woodcut medium. In Flood Light, each color—printed from the same block—comes together in watery harmony. Gornik has experimented with woodcuts throughout her career as a printmaker, forcing the rigid medium to reflect her light and ethereal designs. According to art critic Donald Kuspit, “Gornik’s light tends to suffuse the entire pictorial space, suggesting an oceanic experience of merger with the infinite.”
April Gornik Flood Light, 1991 Reduction woodcut 20 x 16 inches (50.8 x 40.6 cm) Edition of 25 Published by Pace Editions In the collection of the Met $1,500 100
LOUISE BOURGEOIS (1911-2010) One of Bourgeois’ most important prints, this work can be seen as a monumental self-portrait by Louise Bourgeois, representing the pain that she experienced throughout her life from personal attacks. Bourgeois references the Christian martyr, Saint Sebastian, a famous subject in the history of art and literature. Saint Sebastian has been portrayed by artists as varied as Durer, Titian, El Greco, Mantegna, Daumier and Egon Schiele. Saint Sebastian is traditionally portrayed as a handsome young man, shot with arrows against a tree. Here, Bourgeois creates Sainte Sébastienne in a female form, whose flesh seems to be made of wooden rings. According to the artist, “She is aware of the hostility somewhere. The arrows are from the outside... they are not inner... this is not stress. She is bewildered by what happened... she does not know what to do. When you get angry you become ugly... you lose your hair. The profound effect of the arrows... the sharp criticism... makes her defensive. The state of defensiveness makes her self-criticizing, self-destroying, self-mutilating. Cutting your hair... that is the equivalent of cutting off your head... it is masochistic. Then you are not desirable.”
Louise Bourgeois Sainte Sébastienne, 1992 Drypoint on Somerset Satin paper 46 7/8 x 36 7/8 inches (119.1 x 93.7 cm) Edition of 50 Published by Peter Blum Edition Wye 504.2 In the collections of MFA Houston, MoMA, Musée des Beaux-Arts Canada, SAAM $85,000 102
Louise Bourgeois’ interest in the motif of the caryatid began with a sculpture of her own that she placed at the center of a table. “One half of its being was cut off by the table. I had this feeling that I might be cut in half myself. There was this terrific, intense identification with the sculpture. I felt cut in two. I visualized the caryatid of a woman cut in two. (…) I had this tension around my waist and I relived this fear of a little child. But I kept thinking, ‘You’re not a caryatid, you’re not an animal, you’re not passive. You’re active. Don’t let this happen to you. Just to do it to someone else.’” A caryatid is a sculpted female figure supporting a structure on her head, like a column or a pillar. This lithograph features the logo of the French department store Le Bon Marché, and emulates the patterns and motif of a traditional French handkerchief. The cultural signaling in this work is surely a deliberate nod to French womanhood. “The theme of the woman cut in half is a theme of the passive state. It reminds me of the women, the lavandières in France, whom I used to see as a child,” Bourgeois said in a 1986 interview.
Louise Bourgeois Caryatid, 2001 Lithograph on Okawara paper 36 x 36 inches (91.4 x 91.4 cm) Edition of 10 Published by SOLO Impressions Wye 123 In the collection of MoMA $15,000 104
FAITH RINGGOLD (b. 1930) Based on a painting and storybook of the same name, Faith Ringgold’s Tar Beach tells the story of a young African-American girl in New York, whose dreams of flight provide her with a sense of personal freedom and power over the city. In the story of Tar Beach, Cassie Lightfoot and her brother lounge on the rooftop of their apartment building in the summer, just as many New Yorkers trying to escape the heat before air conditioning. There, she spins a tale in which she can claim ownership over various city bridges and skyscrapers by flying over them. Via the act of imagined flight, Cassie escapes the distressing daily realities that a young black girl in 1939 Harlem would inevitably have had to face. Cassie’s dreamy domination of New York City is set only 76 years after the Emancipation Proclamation and 15 years before Brown vs Board of Education. In a 1994 interview, Ringgold speaks of her own father and mother who “started out together, you know on the rooftop, in the twenties, playing their violins, going to church and with their dreams. And then they got married, they had three kids and my father got stuck in a dead-end job. [...] He didn’t have any choices and that’s what [Tar Beach] was about—it’s about not having choices.” In this woodcut, the viewer is afforded a glimpse Cassie and her brother flying over the city—the George Washington Bridge, dazzling and bright, theirs for the taking. Ringgold’s signature line “Anyone can fly” is perfectly captured by this image.
Faith Ringgold Tar Beach, 1993 Woodcut Edition of 60 Published by Mulberry Press In the collections of Cornell, MoMA $9,000 106
KIKI SMITH (b. 1954) Kiki Smith is a radically inventive artist whose transgressive early works confronted mortality and bodily decay, while her more recent work on paper explores the animal kingdom, the natural world and portraiture. Printmaking became an essential part of Smith’s practice during the mid-1980s, and she persistently pushes the medium’s boundaries not only of style, technique,and imagery but also between print, drawing, and book. To create the hand colored photogravure and lithograph My Blue Lake, Smith used the British Museum’s 360-degree periphery camera to take an encompassing self portrait. After spending two days photographing her body as if it were a terrain, Smith used one of the resulting four-byfive-inch negatives to make an enlarged photogravure. In this print, Smith blends her features into landscape, transforming her skin into a lake and her hair into mountains or shore. Like the environment they inhabit, women’s bodies are in a state of constant flux and in My Blue Lake, Smith turns the body into a literal landscape. The hair varies in each impression as it is handcolored à la poupée.
Kiki Smith My Blue Lake, 1995 Photogravure with a la poupée inking and lithograph, on mould-made En Tout Cas paper 43 3/4 x 54 3/4 inches (111.1 x 139.1 cm) Edition of 41 Published by Universal Limited Art Editions In the collections of Albright-Knox, Chazen, High, Hood, MoMA, NGA, SGS Munich, Walker $35,000 108
Kiki Smith Companion, 2000 Book of accordian-folded photolithographs on mold-made paper with accompanying red cap 6 3/4 x 10 1/2 inches (17.1 x 26.7 cm) Edition of 100 Published by LeRoy Neiman Center for Print Studies In the collection of MoMA $3,000 110
Kiki Smith Falcon, 2001 Etching and aquatint in blue and black 34 3/4 x 27 7/8 inches (88.3 x 70.8 cm) Edition of 30 Published by Harlan & Weaver In the collections of High, Mount Holyoke, MoMA, Princeton, SGS Munich $9,000 112
Known for her sculpture and printmaking, Kiki Smith produced eleven monumental tapestries over a six-year period, continuing her interest in the relationship between humans, animals and nature. Each tapestry is based on paper collages made from salvaged pieces of the artistâ€™s prints and drawings that were then photographed, printed to scale and re-worked until the composition was finalized. The ultimate image is formed entirely of warp and weft threads using a double jacquard loom.
Kiki Smith Harbor, 2015 Jacquard tapestry 116 x 76 inches (294.6 x 193 cm) Edition of 10 $75,000 114
YVONNE JACQUETTE (b. 1934) In her first major print of the 1990s, Yvonne Jacquette focused on her own backyard which she translated to silkscreen through the eyes of a longtime New Yorker. From a composite of views including the artist’s own window, Chelsea is based on the intersection of 28th Street and 6th Avenue and the surrounding neighborhood, where Jacquette has lived since 1968. The scene is not a literal interpretation. Jacquette chooses to change, manipulate, and delete physical buildings in order to form an effective composition. While her elevated viewpoint suggests a verticality – the ordered stacking of windows, singular tops of water towers, and the clinging skeletal frame of a fire escape – this upward movement is tempered by a central wave of undulating horizontal rooftops and the insertion of a bright, bustling city intersection. Jacquette has always had a fondness for portraying water towers, and they feature in this work prominently.
Yvonne Jacquette Chelsea, 1996 28 color silkscreen 36 x 31 3/4 inches (91.4 x 80.6 cm) Edition of 75 Published by Mary Ryan Gallery Faberman 46 In the collections of Cleveland, Whitney $4,500 116
Jacquette depicts the famous waterfront vista of Chicago using one color and the negative space of the woodcut to delineate light and the effects of moonlight. The richness of the black printing provides intensity, allowing Jacquette to capture the pulse of the city in the heavily striated rendering of Lake Shore Drive. This main artery bisects the luxury high rises of Chicago’s Gold Coast, the Oak Street Beach, and Lake Michigan. A small boat floats east of shore. Not only does Jacquette explore the duality of the city’s complexity with the surrounding nature’s simplicity, but she also juxtaposes the linear lines of the city, curvilinear lines of nature that is evident in the bend of the coast, the outstretched jetty, and the mandrolic shape of the beach. The image is based on her view of the city from various vantage points, including the Hancock Building and the window of an airplane. Jacquette typically spends a year or more hand-cutting. This work is printed in black ink on Japanese Okawara paper. She prefers this material for its natural contrast and ability to smoothly absorb the dense ink. Since 1997, Mary Ryan Gallery has published ten woodcuts with Jacquette.
Yvonne Jacquette Filaments of Light (Chicago), 2000 Woodcut 37 x 33 1/2 inches Edition of 45 Published by Mary Ryan Gallery Faberman 54 $3,000 118
Chrysler Building Flanked by High Rise Buildings II is a strikingly linear depiction of Midtown Manhattan architecture. Jacquette studied the building from a 20th-floor penthouse on East 37th Street. Combining gridded line work with varied grooves and notches, this latest woodcut is a powerful rendering of structure, light, and reflection. Rendered during twilight, the print plays with the language of New York through the vocabulary of lines, dashes, and cuts that Jacquette has built. A surprising view of the Chrysler building, this print is one of three images Jacquette completed in 2009 looking up at her subjects. This shift in perspective is one that Jacquette has been exploring as she is increasingly interested in being in the middle of a view. Like the majority of her woodcuts, which Jacquette typically spends a year or more hand-cutting, it is printed in black ink on Japanese Okawara paper.
Yvonne Jacquette Chrysler Building Flanked by High Rise Buildings, II, 2009 Woodcut on Okawara paper 35 5/8 x 23 1/2 inches (90.5 x 59.7 cm) Edition of 75 Published by Mary Ryan Gallery In the collection of the Met $2,500 120
ALISON SAAR (b. 1956) Arcade Suite features as a reworking of a number of themes found in Alison Saar’s sculptural work. Working in black, red and white, Saar depicts six lone figures, each serving as different studies of body, gender and race. In one, a woman peers into a mirror and a white face looks back at her. In another, the body of a woman comes together in the cigarette smoke of a fedora-wearing dandy. A severed head floats in a third woodcut, with an anatomical representation of a heart next to it. In a fourth print, a naked woman tilts her head onto her shoulder, contorted under the rain. Each figures’ eyes are empty, casting an eerie light on these works, suggesting that the viewer is not looking at people but at masks. Most of the figures in Saar’s works are women—featuring not only as feminist icons but, according to art historian Nancy Doll, “powerful bearers of dignity, self-determination, plight and abuse.” The titles of these works are, in order:
Hand to Mouth, Heart, Heart, Heart, Red Girl, Mirror, Rose Tattoo, and Man with Hat.
Alison Saar Arcade Suite, 2000 Set of six woodcuts 12 x 10 inches (30.5 x 25.4 cm) each Edition of 20 Published by Diane Villani Editions Doll & Tallman 8 In the collection of PAFA $6,000 for the set; five of the six images (excluding Woman with Mirror) are available as single prints for $1,200 122
LESLEY DILL (b. 1950) A prominent American artists interested in the in the power of words and language in visual art, Lesley Dill draws from her extensive travels abroad and profound interests in spirituality. Dill became interested in creating works on paper while in India. “I wanted the idea to have more weight than the material… (to consider) the weight of the words versus the lightness of the substrate,” she explained. In this lithograph and collage, Dill forms a figure out of paper clothing from a Hindi newspaper. On the finished product, she inscribed a quotation from Franz Kafka: “Felt as if the way were opened to the unknown nourishment.” “We are all clothed in words,” Dill explains. The quote “refers here to what do you read, what do you see, and what do you hear?”
Lesley Dill Opening to the Unknown Nourishment, 2001 Lithograph and collage 27 x 21 inches (68.6 x 53.3 cm) Edition of 50 Published by Landfall Press In the collections of the Columbia, Knoxville, Milwaukee, Montgomery $8,000 124
KAKYOUNG LEE (b. 1975) Kakyoung Lee’s methods are intentionally time-consuming. To make her prints-in-motion, she employs repetitive, meticulous techniques, often making more than 100 prints or drawings per project to translate her daily routine—what she calls “the monotonous daily ritual.” She uses individual drypoint prints to make stop-motion animated videos recreating the movement of her body. Through the exploration of the day-to-day habits of her life, Lee articulates her own identity.
Dance, Dance, Dance began as a performance of a mundane or everyday action. Lee documents this initial performance by filming herself with a video camera, and through the use of drypoint, she deconstructs her performance into single moments. These individual elements are then put back together and the initial action is reconstructed. Through this process of deconstruction and reconstruction, undulating new imagery emerges and Lee is able to subtly add to the history of her actions. Dance, Dance, Dance depicts the artist dancing alone, as one might in their bedroom when they think no one is looking. The artist selected ten images from the stop-motion video’s 342 drypoints to make as an edition of eight for this portfolio.
Kakyoung Lee Dance Dance Dance (Suite Set), 2011 Ten drypoints and one video 21 1/8 x 15 1/4 inches (53.7 x 37.7 cm) each Edition of 8 In the collections of Cleveland, McNay $8,500 126
DEBORAH KASS (b. 1952) Deborah Kass is a multidisciplinary artist examining the interactions of politics, pop culture, art history, and identity within a Pop art sensibility. Interested in ideas of appropriation and duplication, Kass works in a variety of media, including painting, prints, neon, sculpture, and installation. She blends together gender issues, feminism, and a keen sense of humor. Her art is geared to challenge contemporary gender norms and male-centric social structures. Throughout her career, the artist has championed feminist agendas within the art world and beyond. In the 1990s, Kass embarked on the reimagining of Andy Warhol’s oeuvre, a project that would occupy her for several years. A passionately feminist artist, Kass recreated Warhol’s most famous works with a pointedly woman-oriented slant. By appropriating Warhol’s work, Kass annexes the artistic gravitas implied by one of the most influential artists of the postwar period. She replaces Warhol’s series of celebrity muses with a selection of her own personal heroines, and by doing so, she alters the gaze cast upon these subjects. These celebrity figures are no longer passive muses but active artistic women with achievements of their own. Kass therefore flips the script implied by Warhol’s hugely influential series. “In my own work I replace Andy’s male homosexual desire with my own specificity: Jew love, female voice, and blatant lesbian diva worship,” Kass has explained. In this silkscreen, Kass turned her attention to Elizabeth Streb, a contemporary choreographer whose work has redefined modern dance. For this work, Kass recreated Warhol’s portrait of the legendary choreographer Merce Cunningham. By supplanting Warhol’s subject with Streb, Kass reorients the focus on female achievements, which have largely been overlooked in art history. Deborah Kass Streb I, 1998 Silkscreen 28 1/2 x 20 1/2 inches (72.4 x 52.1 cm) Unique experimental proof printed by the artist Unpublished $3,500 128
Deborah Kass Gold Barbra, 2013 Silkscreen in 9 colors 24 x 20 inches (61 x 50.8 cm) Edition of 75 Published by Mary Ryan Gallery In the collections of Davison Art Center, MFA Houston, NGA $1,800 130
Deborah Kass’ oeuvre is an exercise of self-reflection, as many of her works circle around themes of identity. In this work, Kass plays on the double meaning of the word “yo, (simultaneously Spanish for “I” and a reference to urban slang), and its inverse, “oy” (a Yiddish term expressing woe or dismay). Inspired by Ed Ruscha’s word paintings, Kass’ work figures as a reflection of a male-centric art history as well as the complexities of verbal cultural signaling. A monumental OY/ YO sculpture was recently commissioned by the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University. These are the most recent prints of the exhibition, just completed in February 2020.
Deborah Kass OY and YO, 2020 Color silkscreen with flocking on 2-ply museum board 32 x 30 inches (81.3 x 76.2 cm) each Edition of 40 Published by Lococo Fine Art $6,000 for the pair; $3,200 each 132
Member, Art Dealers Association of America (ADAA) Member, International Fine Print Dealers Association (IFPDA) 134