Nov 03, 2022 - Sale 2620

Sale 2620 - Lot 484

Price Realized: $ 68,750
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 20,000 - $ 30,000
Bond of Union.

Lithograph, 1956. 254x338 mm; 10x13 3/8 inches, full margins. Signed and numbered "No. 42/52 II" in pencil, lower left. A superb, richly-inked impression with strong contrasts.

According to Xu, "The built-up tension within the couple confused and frustrated Escher. In 1956, he created the lithograph, Bond of Union, possibly as a way to express the complex feelings of his relationship.

In the print, the heads of Escher and Jetta [his wife] are represented and broken up into one connected strap. The two heads are hovering in the void, surrounded by floating bubble-like globes. The facial expression is pensive, almost sad. It looks as if although the two figures are connected and inseparable, as their personalities are disintegrating and getting dissolved into the void. In a 1968 interview, Escher claimed this piece to be merely an experiment to show the concept of endlessness and a reaction to sculpture. However, he also wrote about this print, 'Like an endless bond, even their foreheads are woven together, they form an inseparable entity. Whether these two are glad to be bound as a family together, I cannot tell. It is a perilous undertaking, and they look a little sad.'

This is one of the rare portraits Escher made after World War II. However, this piece is significantly different from his portraits of himself and of Jetta made more than thirty years earlier. The same faces now appear reserved and indifferent. The figures are facing towards each other but there is no shared eye contact, almost as if the couple is avoiding each other. Escher's facial expression, contrary to his confident look shown in the early self-portrait, seems troubled and tired," (The Hidden Emotions in M.C. Escher's Artwork, Stockbridge, 2021). Bool 409.