Henri Laurens

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Henri Laurens, 1885-1954

Femme. Composition sans Titre.


Original etching. 1946. Signed in pencil. Also initialled in the plate. Inscribed in pencil by Laurens 'B à T' - The Bon à Tirer unique guide proof for the edition. This is the only known pencil signed impression (the remaining edition has only the initials in the plate). Unsigned edition of 356. Edition printed at the Atelier Lacourière, Paris. Ref: Laurens - Brusberg Dokumete Laurens no 22. Beautiful proof impression with a very light plate tone. On a double sheet of wove Marais paper. Excellent original proof condition - thumb print lower margin; pencil margin annotation. Full sheet: 8 5/8 x 7 3/4ins. 220x170mm. Plate: 6 5/8 x 5ins. 169x126mm.


This is the only known impression of this etching which is pencil signed. The ?bon à tirer? guide proof for the subsequent edition (unsigned) for a special issue of Tristan Tzara?s text ?Entretemps? is on a piece of proofing paper with annotations for the subsequent page format of the album. Laurens was above all a sculptor but his approach to etching (and indeed lithography) was very much that of the sculptor. He treats the forms as three dimensional using combinations of linear contour and abstract shading to suggest surfaces and planes. It is this abstract use of etched line which makes the finest of Lauren?s etchings so unique and personal. Laurens interest in arrangements of plane had arisen during his important involvement with Cubism. He met Braque in 1911 and through him was introduced to the other cubists. By 1915 he had become one of the foremost cubist sculptors. During this time his work was focused on arrangements of plane; as he moved on during the 1920?s and early ?30?s into his mature style using figurative forms to explore volume and space his interest in surface continued. Writing late in his life (1951) he said: ?In a sculpture the spaces must be as significant as the volume. Sculpture is essentially the capturing of space, space circumdescribed by forms.?. Laurens first became interested in etching in 1917, but the main period of his work in this medium was from the 1920?s onwards. He had a unique and individual approach to the use of the plate which reached a peak of inspiration and invention in the 1940?s.


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