October 11, 2015


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Lot 228: Various Artists

Lot 228: Various Artists

In Barcelona Suite (Portfolio California)

The complete suite of 16 etchings and lithographs on Guarro paper in original case
#6 of 9 collaborator proofs aside from the edition of 75
Published by Ediciones Poligrafa, Barcelona; printed by Poligrafa Obra Gráfica, Barcelona
Each signed and dated in graphite by the artist; edition inscribed in Roman numerals on colophon
Sheet each: 22" x 29.875" (or alternate orientation)
Comprised of prints by Billy Al Bengston, Peter Alexander, Larry Bell, Laddie John Dill, Craig Kauffman, Ed Moses, Eric Orr, and Ed Ruscha
Literature: Edward Ruscha: Editions, 1959-1999: Catalogue Raisonné. 1st ed. Vol II. S. Engberg and C. Phillpot. 1999. #163.
Estimate: $10,000 - $15,000
Price Realized: $15,625
Inventory Id: 20227

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Founded in 1964, the Barcelona fine art printmaker Polígrafa Obra Gráfica established itself as one of the top firms of its kind in Europe. After the death of Francisco Franco in 1975, and at the end of Spain's 36-year-long fascist regime, Polígrafa was widely credited for bringing new art and artists into the country, injecting a breeze of freshness and modernity to Spain's moribund cultural atmosphere.

One Polígrafa innovation was a short-term artistic residency program. In 1988 and 1989 the firm invited eight prominent California-based artists–Billy Al Bengston, Peter Alexander, Larry Bell, Laddie John Dill, Craig Kauffman, Ed Moses, Eric Orr, and Ed Ruscha–to spend two weeks in Barcelona and develop prints based on their experiences and impressions of the city. The resulting portfolio of 16 etchings and prints is a remarkable example of what can be wrought by a change of location, artistic medium, and cultural milieu. The octet of Californians, accustomed to vast spaces, bright and limpid light, and near total freedom of movement, formed their responses to an Old World city of dark, twisting, and narrow thoroughfares, tucked tightly between mountains and the sea.