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  • Literature

    Barnett Newman Foundation 249
    Esther Sparks 40A

  • Catalogue Essay

    An apparently simple compositional division made by vertical lines of varying widths became a profound and emotionally charged expression in the hands of the American painter Barnett Newman. A vocal and brilliant spokesman for the New York school of action painters, he developed a style in which the active elements typical of their work became concentrated and more intense. This charged form he called a ‘zip’, the vertical form that slashed through fields of flat, inert color.


    Toward the end of his life the plastic handling of the zips became increasingly austere until, in this print, the edges of the black strips have a uniformity that evokes the monumental and peaceful.This etching was one of two compositions Newman completed shortly before his death. He had been asked to make a memorial print for Martin Luther King, and before executing it he experimented with the etching techniques. This stark image, its intensely black, aquatinted, vertical stripe subjected to the unequal division of a white field cut into by narrow etched lines, is probably the basis for the totally black memorial aquatint that remained unprinted at Newman’s death. Riva Castleman, Modern Art in Prints, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1973, p. 47.

103

Untitled Etching #1

1968-69
Etching and aquatint, on J. Green handmade paper, with full margins,
I. 14 7/8 x 23 7/8 in (37.8 x 60.6 cm)
S. 19 1/4 x 29 7/8 in (48.9 x 75.9 cm)

signed and dated `10/22/76' on the reverse by Annalee Newman, numbered 4/27 in pencil on the front (there were also 4 artist's proofs), published by Universal Limited Art Editions, Islip, New York (with their and the artist's blindstamps), in very good condition, framed.

Estimate
$50,000 - 70,000 

Contact Specialist
Kelly Troester – Modern Editions
[email protected]
+ 1 212 940 1221

Cary Leibowitz – Contemporary Editions
[email protected]
+ 1 212 940 1222

Evening & Day Editions

New York 28 October 2013 10am & 6pm