Nov 16, 2023 - Sale 2653

Sale 2653 - Lot 4

Price Realized: $ 8,750
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 7,000 - $ 10,000

Etching and aquatint on cream laid paper, circa 1946. 227x175 mm; 8 7/8x6 7/8 inches. Edition of 20 (likely from an intended edition of 25). Signed and numbered 5/25 in pencil, lower margin. A very good impression of this extremely scarce, early 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 24.