Le Corbusier - Unite (Planche XI)

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Category Le Corbusier Tags signed prints

OriginalEtching & Aquatint in colours, 1953, on Rives BFK paper paper, signed by the artist in pencil, with full margins

Size: Plate 16 3/8 x 12 1/2 inches; 416 x 318 mm.

Sheet 22 3/8 x 17 3/4 inches; 568 x 451 mm.

Edition: 130

Note: Le Corbusier was one of the fathers of Modern architecture, and is best known for his pioneering work in the International Style, but he was also a celebrated designer, painter, and printmaker. The Unité prints portfolio was conceived and printed following the construction of the Unité d’habitation in Marseilles.This comes from a portfolio of 20 etchings. Along with the portfolio “Poème de l'ange droit”, published in 1955, the series “Unité” is among Le Corbusier's most important graphic works. The artist began with the pastel-chalk drawings on which the prints were based in 1953, while he was still at work on “Poème”. The 20-part series contains characteristic motifs which Le Corbusier repeatedly explored: the hand, bull, reclining female nude and found objects, such as stones and pine cones. The artist united these into surrealistic visual worlds in luminous colours. The Unité etchings celebrate organic arrangements in compositions that simply and masterfully blend colour, line and form.  The aquatints showcase Le Corbusier’s belief that “colour is an immediate and spontaneous expression of life.” These engravings incorporate still-life notions from his Purism days as well as depictions of women, a common theme throughout his work. “The 'recherche patiente', the untiring search for the valid form is characteristic of how Le Corbusier worked as an artist. He repeatedly takes up the motif - often years later - and works on it in different techniques and in countless variations.

Printed by: Aldo & Piero Crommelynck, Paris

Published by : Alain C. Mazo, Paris in 1965

Provenance: Estate of Gertrude Levy

Public Collections: MOMA, New York