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CR. [111 – 131] A la pintura

A la pintura

 1972

CR. [111 – 131] A la pintura

28 5/8 x 42 x 4 7/8 in. (72.7 x 106.7 x 12.4 cm)

Signature

Signed "Robert Motherwell" in sepia ink on colophon page

Inscriptions

Numbered in sepia ink on colophon page, on other pages edition number stamped in ochre ink (location varies); stamped "ROBERT MOTHERWELL a la pintura" in ochre ink on colophon page inside colophon text

Edition

40

Proofs

8 AP, numbered I/VIII-VIII/VIII in the artist’s hand in sepia ink on colophon page; stamped “AP 1/8-8/8” in ochre ink on other pages
2 CP
1 poet’s proof, numbered R.A. 1/1
21 practice trial proofs (artist’s copies)
2 PP, numbered 1/2 -2/2
17 single dedication proofs
1 translator’s proof B.B. 1/1
TP (unrecorded)
2 trial sets
WP (unrecorded)

Publisher

Universal Limited Art Editions, West Islip, New York

Printer

Donn Steward, Universal Limited Art Editions

Collaborators

Letterpress type hand-set and hand-printed by Juda Rosenberg; typography proofing by Esther Pullman

Production Sequence

Images 21 original intaglio prints on 25 1/2 x 38 in. (64.8 x 96.6 cm) J. B. Green Paper, and excerpts from "A la pintura" (1948) and "La arboleda perdida" (1959) by Rafael Alberti, printed in letterpress. The frontispiece includes an aquatint, as do the preface and the end page.
Housing The prints are loose as issued in a handmade wooden box designed by the artist with white Formica laminates applied to the sides, brass pulls for handling, and a clear Plexiglas top fastened with brass screws. The sliding drawer has nautical brass latch fittings and a lock and key set. The front of the drawer opens on a hinge.
Collation
1 frontispiece with intaglio and letterpress
1 page with title text
1 page with intaglio and preface by Rafael Alberti excerpted from "A Vanished Grove" (1959)
1 page with intaglio and text (To the Palette)
1 page with intaglio and text (Black 1-3)
1 page with intaglio and text (Black 4)
1 page with intaglio and text (Black 5-11)
1 page with intaglio and text (Blue 1-3)
1 page with intaglio and text (Blue 4)
1 page with intaglio and text (Blue 5)
1 page with intaglio and text (Blue 6-11)
1 page with intaglio and text (Blue 12-13)
1 page with intaglio and text (Red 1-3)
1 page with intaglio and text (Red 4-7)
1 page with intaglio and text (Red 8-11)
1 page with intaglio and text (White 1-2)
1 page with intaglio and text (White 3-6)
1 page with intaglio and text (White 7-9)
1 page with intaglio and text (White 10-13)
1 page with intaglio and text (White 14-15)
1 page with intaglio and text (To the Paintbrush)
1 end page with intaglio and text
1 page with table of contexts text
1 colophon page with signature, number, and text

Concordance

B 82-102; ULAE 15-36

Comments

Motherwell's aquatints and etchings for A la pintura are addressed to many aspects of Rafael Alberti's verse. The spirit of renewal and the pleasures of line, form, and tone are dominant themes. Preeminently, however, they were created as a visual parallel to Alberti's celebration of the imaginative ordering of reality. As the first of four illustrated books Motherwell would produce in his lifetime, A la pintura perhaps most closely adapts the methods of the painter to the medium of printmaking. However, the image plane in A la pintura cannot be viewed as a simple equivalent of the canvas surface because of the material tangibility of the paper, which constitutes a subject in and of itself. Atmospherically edged and charged with color, the etchings present critical variations in shape, tone, and texture and employ Motherwell's characteristic palette printed by Donn Steward with hand-ground inks from natural pigments. Metaphysical as well as material connotation, the images suggest a range of relationships that tie painting to nature and history.

See John J. McKendry's exhibition catalogue Robert Motherwell's "A la pintura": The Genesis of a Book, published in conjunction with an exhibition of the same name at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, October 24-December 3, 1972, for a history of the project. The book includes an introduction by John J. McKendry and texts by Motherwell and Diane Kelder along with technical notes on each of the etchings.

Author

Rafael Alberti
translation by Ben Bellitt

Format

Illustrated book

Box Size

28 5/8 x 42 x 4 7/8 in. (72.7 x 106.7 x 12.4 cm)

Images

21 original intaglio prints on 25 1/2 x 38 in. (64 8 x 96.6 cm) J. B. Green paper, and excerpts from "A la pintura" (1948) and ''La arboleda perdida" (1959) by Rafael Alberti, printed in letterpress The frontispiece includes an aquatint, as do the preface and the end page.

Housing

The prints are loose as issued in a handmade wooden box designed by the artist with white Formica laminates applied to the sides, brass pulls for handling, and a clear Plexiglas top fastened with brass screws. The sliding drawer has nautical brass latch fittings and a lock and key set. The front of the drawer opens on a hinge.

Typeface

Clarendon Regular and Optima Medium

Collation

1 frontispiece with intaglio and letterpress
1 page with title text
1 page with intaglio and preface by Rafael Alberti excerpted from "A Vanished Grove" (1959)
1 page with intaglio and text (To the Palette)
1 page with intaglio and text (Black 1-3)
1 page with intaglio and text (Black 4)
1 page with intaglio and texts (Black 5 - 11)
1 page with intaglio and text (Blue 1-3)
1 page with intaglio and text (Blue 4)
1 page with intaglio and text (Blue 5)
1 page with intaglio and text (Blue 6-11)
1 page with intaglio and text (Blue 12-13)
1 page with intaglio and text (Red 1-3)
1 page with intaglio and text (Red 4-7)
1 page with intaglio and text (Red 8-11)
1 page with intaglio and text (White 1-2)
1 page with intaglio and text (White 3-6)
1 page with intaglio and text (White 7-9)
1 page with intaglio and text (White 10-13)
1 page with intaglio and text (White 14-15)
1 page with intaglio and text (To the Paintbrush)
1 end page with intaglio and text
1 page with table of contents text
1 colophon page with signature, number, and text

...

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