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Estimate: $ 5,000 - $ 8,000
ADOLPH GOTTLIEB Chimera.
Etching on cream wove paper, circa 1946. 166x125 mm; 6 1/2x5 inches. Edition of 15. Signed in pencil, lower right. A very good impression of this scarce etching.
Gottlieb (1903-1974) referred to these early prints (the approximately 20 drypoints, etchings and woodcuts he made in the 1940s) as Pictographs, suggesting there were messages in the various signs and symbols that fill the grid-like compartments in the images. He was almost certainly inspired by Native American pictographs, having become interested in Native American art and culture while living in Arizona during the late 1930s. These early etchings also show strong ties to the Surrealist prints of Joan Miró, Kurt Seligmann and Yves Tanguy. Whether or not Jackson Pollock ever knew these early etchings by Gottlieb is uncertain, though there are certainly affinities with Pollock's 1944-45 intaglio works printed at Atelier 17 in New York. Gottlieb became friends with Mark Rothko during the 1940s and the two worked closely together, describing their stylistic experiments in an open letter to the New York Times in the summer of 1943, as well as an interview on WNYC radio. Associated American Artists 27.