Nov 19, 2020 - Sale 2552

Sale 2552 - Lot 172

Price Realized: $ 42,500
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 10,000 - $ 15,000

Portfolio with complete set of 6 aquatints with folding and embossing on Strathmore paper, 1972. 1012x770 mm; 40x30 inches (sheet, unfolded), full margins, loose and folded as issued. Each signed, titled and numbered 4/42 in pencil, lower margin. Printed by Crown Point Press, San Francisco. Published by Parasol Press, Ltd., Portland. With the original wooden box.

We have found only 4 other complete portfolios at auction in the past 30 years.

The conception of the Locus series emanates from Rockburne's (b. 1932) Drawing Which Makes Itself inspired by the everchanging geometry of fresh ski-tracks in the snow. Rockburne's continued exploration in using paper not only as a static material upon which an artist draws, but as actively changing forms is evident in the Locus series. The current portfolio and the series Drawing Which Makes Itself are still widely celebrated; the latter being exhibited in 2013 at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Born in Montreal, Rockburne was a precocious child, studying at the École des Beaux-Arts de Montréal while still attending elementary school. In 1950, she received a scholarship to attend Black Mountain College, North Carolina, and studied under John Cage (1912-1992, see lot 177), Franz Kline (1910-1962), Merce Cunningham (1919-2009), and Philip Guston (1913-1980, see lot 29), among others. Rockburne's intellectual curiosity and rebellious streak was nurtured at Black Mountain and her multifaceted education would provide the foundation for her abstract, exploratory art, rooted in mathematics and geometry.

She moved to New York in 1955 and became active in the artist community alongside friends Robert Rauschenberg (1925-2008, see lots 186-196), Jasper Johns (b. 1930, see lots 181-185), Brice Marden (b. 1938, see lot 331) and Susan Weil (b. 1930). Though she became dissatisfied with art-making in the early 1960s, Rockburne used other creative outlets, participating in dance, films, and performances, including Claes Oldenburg's (b. 1929, see lots 261-266) Washes at Al Roon's Health Club. Rockburne began to produce fine art again in the late 1960s, the restart to a widely influential career.