Barcarolle by Bernard Childs

Barcarolle by Bernard Childs

Barcarolle

Bernard Childs

Title

Barcarolle

 
Artist

Bernard Childs

  1910 - 1985 (biography)
Year
1958  
Technique
color intaglio 
Image Size
11 1/8 x 16 1/2" platemark 
Signature
pencil, lower left 
Edition Size
"epreuve d'essai en couleur", variant edition of 10 proofs 
Annotations
titled, lower cemter; dated, lower left; annotated: "epreuve d'essai en couleur for "Barcarolle" 
Reference
reproduced in Idea, Vol 7, No 46, Apr 1961 Tokyo “Bernard Childs” 
Paper
BFK Rives 
State
unique color proof 
Publisher
artist 
Inventory ID
JC111 
Price
$3,000.00 
Description

Bernard Childs used a brass plate, which he engraved with power drills, rotary burrs, grinders, hand burins, scraper, burnisher, emery cloths and files. He referred to this method as a "power dry point." The color was achieved with four inks that were printed in a single pass. Colors will vary slightly from impression to impression. "Barcarolle" (originally called "The Message") was printed by the artist with his own press at his studio at 4 rue de l'Université in Paris in 1958. He printed a variant edition of 10 proofs using emerald green, raw sienna, brick red and Prussian blue. Each impression is uniquely printed.

In the 1950s Childs developed an abstract picture language, in which he worked with archetypical signs and symbols and with the methods of surrealistic automatism. Since 1955 he also attended to printed graphics, which accompanied his painting. Childs used electrically powered tools to work on his plates. This way he lent velvet-like structures and a vivid, skillful line direction to his prints.

In 1954, while spending a few months working with Stanley William Hayter at Atelier 17 in Paris, Childs combined his interest in metal and knowledge of industrial tools to make experimental intaglio prints, using power tools to incise the plates.

Impressions of "Barcarolle" can be found in the Bibliotheque Nationale de France, in Paris and the Cincinnati Art Museum. The Met has an impression annotated "Final Proof" about which they note: "The title refers to the gentle, melodic tune traditionally sung by Venetian gondoliers, which inspired several eighteenth- and nineteenth-century composers.

In 1959 Childs began to paint portraits, which were stylistically and intentionally formed in an expressionistic way and which he regarded as an antipole to his abstract works.