Liss Llewellyn Fine Art - 20th Century British Art

Robert Austin (1895-1973)   BIOGRAPHY

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Winterlace II, 1954
Unmounted (ref: 5624)
The original zinc plate, canceled, together with a posthumous print taken from the plate.
12 x 8 1/2  in. (31.5 x 21.5 cm.)

 


Provenance: The Artist's family

This original zinc plate, upon which Austin worked directly, was for an acquatint rather than an etching.  Aquatints, though printed,  look rather like drawings in ink or watercolor.  The technique  - which Austin explored later in his life (Summer Night II dates to the same period) - can be used to produce shaded areas ideal for modeling and creating atmospheric tones. The process involves biting with acid a fine network of lines around grains of resin; the tiny etched channels hold ink that prints as a veil of tone.

Francisco Goya famously took great advantage of aquatint printmaking, in his Los Caprichos series (1799); Los Desastres de la Guerra (181019); La Tauromaquia (1816); and Los disparates (ca. 181623).
David Hockney has created a number of aquatints  in his "The Blue Guita" series.

Examples of original printing plates by Austin are in the collections of The Royal Academy, The Ashmoleon Museum, Canterbury Art Gallery and The Hunterian, Glasgow.



Robert Austin (1895-1973)

Printmaker and draughtsman, born in Leicester. He studied at the School of Art there and at the Royal College of Art, 1914-16 and 1919-22, winning the Rome Scholarship for engraving in the latter year. He taught engraving at the Royal College of Art, 1927-44, becoming Professor in the Department of Graphic Design, 1948-55. Showed with RWS, of which he was a member and President; RE, of which he was a member; and the RA, to which he was elected in 1949. Austin was a meticulous craftsman-engraver and a vigorous draughtsman, as his series of drawings of Women's Auxiliary Air Force and ballooning activities done during World War II shows. The Tate Gallery holds his work.

The Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, organised an exhibition of his work in 1980.

More recently he was the subject of two shows at the Fine Art Society plc (2001 and 2002), the latter organised in conjunction with Liss Fine Art Ltd.

See all works by Robert Austin