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Antithèse, c. 1930

Antithèse, c. 1930
oil print, mounted on paper
etched monogram (recto); numbered '35' in pencil (mount, recto); signed and titled in ink and affixed exhibition label (mount, verso)
image/sheet: 9 7/8 x 8 in. (25 x 20.3 cm.)
mount: 14 1/4 x 10 3/8 in. (36.2 x 26.3 cm.)
The collection of Tom Jacobson, San Diego;
Houk Friedman, New York;
Galerie Zur Stockeregg, Zurich;
their sale; Christie's, New York, October 4, 1999, lot 44;
acquired from the above sale by the present owner.
Paris, Exposition Artistes Photographes de Belgique, March–April 1935, no. 35.
Special notice

On occasion, Christie's has a direct financial interest in the outcome of the sale of certain lots consigned for sale. This will usually be where it has guaranteed to the Seller that whatever the outcome of the auction, the Seller will receive a minimum sale price for the work. This is known as a minimum price guarantee. This is such a lot.

Lot Essay

‘Why should the inspiration that exudes from an artist’s manipulation of the hairs of a brush be any different from that of the artist who bends at will the rays of light?’ –Pierre Dubreuil, ‘Le Caractère Personnel,’ Association Belge de Photographe, Bulletin no. 7, (July 1930), p. 54.

For this print, Dubreuil has created a more impressionistic, textural image than other existing prints from the same negative. The title, Antithèse, may refer to the various opposing forces evident in this Modernist image such as the straight lines that are delineated with sharpness and strong contrast against the curved lines that are more softly modeled. Likewise, the suggested pulling action of the pinchers opposes the binding function of the nails.

Dubreuil would often pursue new types of tonal reproductions, experimenting with lighting, contrast and ink consistencies. The print in the present lot is a fine example of such investigations by the artist. At the time of this writing, this is one of only three prints of this image known to exist.

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