Under Sea Ballet by Ian Hugo

Under Sea Ballet by Ian Hugo

Under Sea Ballet

Ian Hugo

Title

Under Sea Ballet

 
Artist

Ian Hugo

  1898 - 1985 (biography)
Year
1944  
Technique
engraving and soft-ground etching, printed in relief 
Image Size
10 x 16" platemark 
Signature
pencil, lower right 
Edition Size
2/xxx (2/30) 
Annotations
titled, lower center, dated after signature, editioned at lower left 
Reference
 
Paper
heavy, smooth cream wove 
State
published 
Publisher
artist 
Inventory ID
22401 
Price
$700.00 
Description

There is an impression of "Under Sea Ballet" in the British Museum. In 1942 Hugo's wife, author Aniis Nin, was looking for a publisher for her book "Under a Glass Bell." When she could not find one she and Hugo (Hugh Geiler) started Grenor Press with Hugo creating a series of copper engravings, printed in relief as illustrations. "Under Sea Ballet," was done in a format that could be used for the cover, but was not selected, the image "Under a Glass Bell" was finally decided upon.

Though editioned at 30, each impression of "Under Sea Ballet" is printed differently. Hugo started engraving at Atelier 17 in New York and the experimental nature of the atelier continued through to his work with Anais.

Her publication "Under a Glass Bell" is now considered one of Anaïs Nin’s finest collections of stories, it was initially deemed unpublishable. Refusing to give up on her vision, in 1944 Nin founded her own press and brought out the first edition, illustrated with striking black-and-white engravings by her husband, Hugh Guiler (Ian Hugo). Shortly thereafter, it caught the attention of literary critic Edmund Wilson, who reviewed the collection in the New Yorker. The first printing sold out in three weeks.