Joan Miró - Editions & Works on Paper New York Tuesday, April 20, 2021 | Phillips

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  • Her smile and her expression are
    dazzling, dazzling with spirit, wit, life...
    Her paintings are completely drawn
    from subterranean worlds, while her
    descriptions of Mexico are violent with color,
    drama, and joy.
    —Anaïs Nin

    (Alice and Anaïs met at the opening night of the Art of This Century exhibition in New York)


    Alice Paalen (Rahon) was a Surrealist poet and better known painter who had an affair with Picasso, modeled for Man Ray, worked with Elsa Schiaparelli, Andre Breton, Paul Eluard, Roland and Valentine Penrose and collaborated with Yves Tanguy, Max Ernst and Joan Miró. She and her husband moved to Mexico in 1939 where their circle included Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, Leonora Carrington and other modern Mexican artists which led to a life of prolific artistic production.


    Her second book of poetry, Sablier couché, included this etching Joan Miró created for her - Rahon can be seen as the hour-glass figure which anticipates the passage of time in her career from poet to painter. The specialness of this unique bon-a-tirér is in the lovely impression, the dedication to master printmaker Roger Lacourière and the early title page text (Casse-nuit) which was changed for the edition. Her volume was praised by André Breton who recognized her creative talent and, in his eyes, it was more than a book, it was “a talisman.”


    Alice Rahon circa 1940 by Walter Reuter, Private Collection
    Alice Rahon circa 1940 by Walter Reuter, Private Collection
    • Provenance

      Christie's London, Old Master, Modern and Contemporary Prints, September 19, 2007, lot 312
      Pace Master Prints, New York

    • Literature

      Jacques Dupin 20
      Patrick Cramer books 5


Frontispiece, for Sablier couché (Reclining Hourglass) (D. 20, C. 5)

Etching in red, on cut yellow paper, Chine collé to laid Arches paper, the full sheet (without a fold), title page with Casse-Nuit title printed on the right side (changed to Sablier couché for the book edition), the poem Muttra by Alice Paalen (Rahon) printed on the reverse.
S. 8 1/4 x 12 1/2 in. (21 x 31.8 cm)
Printing with pale red plate tone, signed, dated 'XII - 1938.', annotated 'Bon à tirer' and dedicated 'pour Lacourière avec toute mon amitié' in pencil (the good-to-print impression, before the book edition of 75), the book published by Editions Sagesse, Paris, framed.

Full Cataloguing

$10,000 - 15,000 

Sold for $18,900

Contact Specialist

212 940 1220


Editions & Works on Paper

New York Auction 20 - 22 April 2021