Thursday, 20 December 2018
George Baldessin's etching on silver foil, “Figure in Circle”, 1967
George Baldessin (1939–1978)
“Figure in Circle”, 1967 (note that the National Gallery attributes the execution of this print to 1972, but this in incorrect as verified by the artist’s dating of this impression: https://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/collection/works/308.1991/), from a hand-signed edition of 25 impressions.
Etching and aquatint on silver foil (“JAC”) laminated on heavy wove paper, pencil signed, with wide margins.
Size: (sheet) 42.9 x 43.1 cm; (plate) 22.5 x 22.5 cm
Hand inscribed in pencil below the plate mark: (left) “Edition 25”; (centre) “figure & circle”; G Baldessin 67”
Kolenberg 1997 148 (Julianna Kolenberg 1997, “George Baldessin Prints 1963-1978” [catalogue raisonné], with essays by Elizabeth Cross and Jan Senbergs, Melbourne and Sydney, Australian Galleries, no. 148, p. 44).
The British Museum offers the following description of this print:
“Plump young female nude lying within a circle and facing left, her hair obscuring her eyes.”
Also offered in the above description, the curator of the British Museum provides the following insights about this print extracted from Stephen Coppel’s 2011, “Out of Australia: Prints and Drawings from Sidney Nolan to Rover Thomas”, BMP, no.57:
“The female nude is positioned within a roundel echoing the form of a mirror. Her eyes are obscured by the fall of her heavy black hair. Although she cannot see herself, the mirror form and the reflective surface of the background silver foil suggest a metaphorical link with the traditional symbol of vanity. The model is Joan Healey, who had recently succeeded Ruth McNicoll as director of the Argus Gallery, which had given Baldessin his debut exhibition in 1964. This is the first occasion Baldessin used silver foil as a background to his prints. The metallic sheen of the foil, which was laminated to the paper as the etching plate passed through the press, reinforced the sculptural dimensions of his printmaking and brought the two sides of his practice closer together. Baldessin has dated this impression to 1968, although an earlier date of 1967 is recorded by Kolenberg for the edition of 25. The cancelled plate is held by the National Gallery of Australia” (op.cit.).
See also Harriet Edquist’s 2009, “George Baldessin, Paradox and Persuasion”, Melbourne, Australian Galleries, p. 137.
Condition: well printed impression in near pristine condition (i.e. there are no tears, folds, holes, abrasions, stains or foxing) with generous margins (as editioned) and remnants of archival mounting tape (verso). Note: the silver foil has the usual age-related degeneration (often called “worms” in silver foil prints) seen mainly towards the lower quarter of the sheet.
I am selling this important etching—the first of Baldessin’s prints to employ silver laminated paper—in the very small edition of 25 impressions and executed by one of Australia’s most famous printmakers, for AU$5000— the current market value of this print from the artist’s estate is AU$7000—in total (currently US$3564.55/EUR3107.93/GBP2810.01 at the time of posting this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world (but not, of course, any import duties/taxes imposed by some countries).
If you are interested in purchasing this major print that is a portrait of the director of the Argus Gallery, Joan Healey (Edquist 2009, p. 137), please contact me (email@example.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.
Note: the surface of the print is silver foil and the colours are reflections