May 16, 2019 - Sale 2509

Sale 2509 - Lot 9

Price Realized: $ 27,500
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 7,000 - $ 10,000

Aquatint and etching on Rives BFK, 1957-60. 213x367 mm; 8 1/2x14 1/2 inches, full margins. Signed and numbered 35/50 in pencil, lower margin. Printed by Anderson-Lamb, Brooklyn. Published by the Morris Gallery, New York. From 21 Etchings and Poems. A superb impression of this extremely scarce print.

An important figure in the Abstract Expressionist movement, Kline (1910-1962) created visceral works that expressed his own psychic state and left the viewer with a palpable emotional reaction. Born in Pennsylvania in 1910, he developed an interest in art during high school, and studied at Boston University from 1931 to 1935. After living in London to further his studies at the Heatherley School of Fine Art, he moved to New York, and the city's rhythms and pace affected his work in the form of the fast, energetic movement of his brush against the canvas. By 1950, his signature style had emerged--bold, expressive lines created with fluidity and quickness and rendered largely in black and white; they were often painted with a house painter's brush.

In the late 1950s Kline collaborated with the poet Frank O'Hara for their contribution to the 21 Etchings and Poems portfolio, a project which looked back to the tradition of such epic illustrated works as the Book of Kells and William Blake's illuminated poems, integrating text and image. The poem was written by the hand of O'Hara onto the copperplate, meaning he had to master the skill of writing backwards in a mirror. The current work integrates the words of O'Hara with Kline's iconic abstract expressionist composition. O'Hara's work is aptly titled Poem, the first couplet of which reads, "I will always love you, though I never loved you."