Untitled abstraction (bird and plants) by Ezio Martinelli

Untitled abstraction (bird and plants) by Ezio Martinelli

Untitled abstraction (bird and plants)

Ezio Martinelli

Title

Untitled abstraction (bird and plants)

 
Artist
Year
1942  
Technique
soft ground etching with roulette 
Image Size
5 7/8 x 3 7/8" platemark 
Signature
pencil, lower right 
Edition Size
not stated 
Annotations
dated in pencil 
Reference
 
Paper
toothy, antique-white wove 
State
proof 
Publisher
artist 
Inventory ID
16145 
Price
$475.00 
Description

The 1940s was a time of great transition for the traditionally trained printmaker, whose work throughout the 1930s exhibited the flavor of modernism that found a foothold in the WPA: representationalism informed by expressionist techniques and textures.

When Ezio Martinelli made his way into Stanley William Hayter’s Atelier 17 in New York, after the famed experimental printmaker relocated there during World War II, he discovered a new and exciting world of artistic expression. Automatic line, surrealism, and non-representational abstraction were the stylistic elements used to examine the complex and ever-changing techniques of intaglio, and the dynamic relationship between the teachers and students proved invaluable to Martinelli’s ability to begin discovering his own world.

In this untitled soft ground etching, we see Martinelli’s joyful, transitional exploration of this new horizon. He draws a scene that on the surface appears to be a simple, energetic drawing of abstracted shapes. On closer inspection there remains the familiar visage of flora and fauna: the curvature of unfurling plantlife, a curious bird among its stems and leaves looking upward and back, as if calling to its mate.