A collection of 56 unseen working proof prints by one of Britains most famous artists and sculptors, Henry Moore (1898-1986), will be offered for sale as part of Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions
sale of Modern & Contemporary Prints on Thursday 27th March. Collected by Moores master printer, Michael Rand, lots 116-172 from the sale document Moores journey to becoming a draughtsman.
The founder printer at Editions Alecto from 1963-66, Rand set up their first Studio in Kelso Place and worked with many of the great artists of the day, printing editions for David Hockney and Colin Self, amongst others. In 1969 he took up the role of Senior Technician at the Royal College of Art and began his work with Henry Moore, which over the following decades resulted in the printing of the majority of Moore's most important intaglio works.
Their working relationship was truly collaborative. Rand would assist Moore with the etching of his plates at his home Perry Green in Much Hadham, later returning to London to produce numerous proofs, subtly altering plate tones and ink densities, and returning them to Moore so that they could pour over the variants and select the impression that would give the go-ahead for the printing of the edition.
This collection of original work from the late 1970s and early 1980s includes the watercolour & charcoal design that was the basis of the etching Highwire Walkers, [Lot 172] pictured above, and a selection of five drawings, which are the basis for many of the prints in the 1981Womans Head' series [Lots 147, 148, 149, 150, 151]. The prints offered in the sale range from £200 for an unsigned print to £12,000 for the watercolour/charcoal of highwire walkers, five of the sets of proofs are accompanied by the signed editioned state, giving collectors a unique opportunity to purchase complete sets of working proofs.
Also included in the sale are a number of works by the acclaimed British painter, pop artist, and Moores contemporary, Richard Hamilton (1922-2011). A timely retrospective of his work is currently being exhibited at The Tate Modern in London, and is a celebration of the entire range of Hamiltons progressive work.
A signed copy of his offset lithograph collage, Fashion Plate, created in 1969-70, is indicative of Hamiltons penchant for using highly recognisable images from different art forms, and redefining them in a new context. This particular image uses a photograph of Sophia Loren, taken from a fashion magazine, with a screenprint overlay. The striking lithograph was created in Milan, and retouched by Hamilton in London using cosmetics. It is estimated to sell for £10,000-15,000. [Lot 403]
A number of prints by British painter and printmaker, Sir Gordon Howard Eliot Hodgkin CH, CBE (b.1932), include an exceptionally rare and important set of six progressive state proofs, and an impression, from the final state of his well-known print, Interior Night.
It is incredibly uncommon to see state proofs for editions by Hodgkin, and this set gives a valuable insight into the artist's working practice. An intriguing element is the presence of a blue aquatint plate, as it was previously assumed that the image was made up of only three colours, black, red and orange. [Lot 414]
The auction will be held at Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions saleroom in Londons Mayfair, with public viewing from Sunday 23rd Thursday 27th March.