Thursday, March 12, 2015

Magnificent Frank Martin drawing of Louise Brooks

This magnificent, wonderful 1974 Frank Martin drawing of Louise Brooks is up for auction through Bonham's in the UK. I think it is grand. The work was reproduced in Victor Arwas and John Kobal's Frank Martin; Hollywood - Continental (Academy Editions/St. Martin's Press, 1988), on page 19. Also, the Tate in London hold an edition of this print in their collection. If anyone would like to purchase it and donate it to the Louise Brooks Society.....

Lot 239AR
Frank Vernon Martin (British, 1921-2005)
'Louise Brooks', 1974
£2,000 - 3,000
US$ 3,000 - 4,500

1 Apr 2015 11:00 BST

Lot Details
Frank Vernon Martin (British, 1921-2005)
'Louise Brooks', 1974
drypoint on copper, with hand tinting, a portrait of the famous film star wearing a sheer blouse against a fantastical Cubist background; an Artist's Proof aside from an edition of 100, with full margins, unframed
10 ½ x 14 ½ in. (26 x 37 cms), titled and signed by artist in pencil

From the 2005 Guardian UK obit of the artist:
Martin's career as a commercial illustrator developed simultaneously. On leaving St Martin's, he began as a fashion illustrator for the Sunday Times, but his many commissions included advertising, books - such as Ursula Bloom's 1959 novel, Youth At The Gate, The Readers' Digest Bedside Book Of The Art Of Living (1956), The Manual Of Catholic Prayer (1962) and the letterhead for Evelyn Waugh's stationery.
Most of Martin's freelance career was involved with books - from the jackets to the illustrations. His most significant contribution was for the Folio Society, for which he illustrated 12 volumes, from Thornton Wilder's The Bridge Of San Luis Rey, in 1956, to Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus in 1988. His illustrations for the Folio edition of Stendhal's Scarlet And Black in 1965 have been called one of the best series of postwar English illustrations.
A fine and instinctive draughtsman, Martin produced work that is bold, decorative and good-humoured, although he could be too unsubtly fascinated by the female figure.
As a boy, Martin had been enthralled by the stars of the silver screen, and his love of the iconography of film found expression in the Hollywood series he began in the 1960s. Working with the grain of the wood, he turned glamorous screen stills into prints. The artists he created images of included Tallulah Bankhead, Clara Bow, Greta Garbo, Lillian Gish, Jean Harlow, Rita Hayworth and Greta Garbo, as well as the Ziegfield Follies, the Keystone Cops and Montgomery Clift. They are perhaps his most celebrated work.
Martin held his first one-man show in 1956. In all, there were 25 exhibitions at, among other venues, the Folio Society, the National Film Theatre, the Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith, and the Leeds International Film Festival. Overseas, he exhibited in Berlin, Dublin, New Zealand and the United States. He was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Painter-Etchers and Engravers in 1961, a member of the Society of Industrial Artists and Designers in 1959, and an honorary academician of the Accademia delle Arti del Disegno of Florence in 1965.

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