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lithograph with hand painting on Rives BFK paper
29 1/2 x 41 1/2 in. (74.9 x 105.4 cm)
6 other proofs (without color added), inscribed “A Proof”-“F Proof”
Two black stones made in 1965 at ULAE were the first stage in the process that would ultimately lead to the final West Islip image. The printing of these stones resulted in a body of handworked proofs, printed in black, from which an impression was given to the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Not certain the image was complete enough, Motherwell put the remaining impressions aside temporarily while continuing to work on other projects at ULAE. In the course of other editions with Ben Berns, specifically The Celtic Stone (cat. no. 101), Motherwell found a way to finish West Islip by adding colored borders and hand overpainting one of the black armatures. These changes completed the image for Motherwell, and the prints were signed and numbered.
The stone for a related image, which incorporates a slightly larger stain as a focal point, was also made in 1965. Printed in 1970 at the same time as West Islip, this edition was not released until 1983 (see cat. no. 295).