Eye

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  • Condition Report

  • Provenance

    Private Collection, New York

  • Literature

    Flip H. Bool, J.R. Kist, J.L. Locher and F. Wierda 344

  • Catalogue Essay

    “… a last example of globular reflection: an eye, which is of course my own, copied as faithfully as possible in a concave shaving glass. It was necessary and logical to portray somebody in a pupil, an observer, reflected in the convex mirror of the eye. I chose the features of Good Man Bones, with whom we are all confronted whether we like it or not.” – Escher, Exploring the Infinite

    In 1946 Escher became interested in mezzotint, a technique that fascinated him because of the possibility of obtaining extremely subtle graduation of light and dark. Though new to Escher, the process of mezzotint was developed in 17th century Germany and named mezzo-tinto, or “half-tone.” English artists and printmakers then found it to be a perfect medium to express their obsession with portraiture. Lasting well into the 1820's the mezzotint spread to the United States where it found footing among graphic artists. The mezzotint is a burnishing process that uniquely captures subtle gradient tonality and works from dark to light. A highly laborious process, Escher produced only eight mezzotints during his career, a feat given the fact that so few artists embrace the demanding technique today. He referred to mezzotint as 'black art,' and these prints are, undoubatly, among his most alluring. "White and black, day and night," said Escher, "the graphic artist lives on these."

    I could fill an entire second life with working on my prints.

13

Eye

1946
Mezzotint, on Van Gelder Zonen laid paper, with full margins.
Image 5 3/4 x 7 11/16 in. (14.6 x 19.5 cm)
Plate 6 x 7 15/16 in. (15.2 x 20.2 cm)
Sheet 10 x 12 5/8 in. (25.4 x 32.1 cm)

Signed, annotated 'eigen druk' (hand printed), numbered 'No 16' in pencil, also annotated 'zwarte kunst prent "Oog"' (black art print 'eye') lower right sheet edge, framed.

Estimate
$40,000 - 60,000 

Place Advance Bid
Contact Specialist
Kelly Troester
Worldwide Co-Head of Editions, Modern
+1 212 940 1221
ktroester@phillips.com

Cary Leibowitz
Worldwide Co-Head of Editions, Contemporary
+1 212 940 1222
cleibowitz@phillips.com

General Inquiries
+1 212 940 1220

Editions & Works on Paper

New York Auction 25 October 2019