Aldo Crommelynck, recently celebrated in tribute exhibitions in London, New York and Paris, is among the most revered engravers of the 20th century. Offerings in this sale reflect the diversity and virtuosity of his creative and technical accomplishments in collaboration with many of the 20th century’s greatest talents. Among them is Pablo Picasso, whose work highlights this sale.
Crommelynck first met Picasso prior to 1955 while he was still training with Roger Lacourière. He worked with him closely from 1961 to 1973, after opening his own workshop with his brothers Piero and Milan and the engraver Robert Dutrou, and then later in Paris and again in Mougins, where they moved into an old bakery to be closer to him.
Europeans were the first to embrace Crommelynck, including Joan Miró, André Masson, Jacques Villon, Le Corbusier and A.R. Penck. Later, Americans like Donald Sultan and Ronald Brooks Kitaj discovered him while living in Paris, and emblematic American Pop Art icons Jasper Johns, Jim Dine and Alex Katz began to seek him out. In 1985, Aldo Crommelynck set out for New York to launch a workshop in association with the PaceWildenstein Gallery. There, he was to involve himself deeply in extraordinary collaborations with contemporary American artists, notably including Georges Condo.
In addition to works Crommelynck created with all these masters, the 25th February sale will present the only known original plate engraved by Jean Michel Basquiat, along with his preparatory drawing.
In collaboration with Yves and Marc Lebouc, Bouquinerie de l’Institut, Paris.
In our sale totalling €2.6/$3.5 million, collectors paid handsome tribute to the talents of Aldo Crommelynck – one of the leading printmakers of the 20th century. The assortment revealed the refinement of his work, especially in the field of aquatint. Crommelynck had an extraordinary career, marked by fruitful collaborations with three generations of artists. Along the way he became known for taking liberties with traditional technique.
A return of 96% of lots sold by volume and 98.6% by value reflects just how keenly international connoisseurs seized the opportunity to acquire the original works on offer – plates of great artistic and technical quality, all signed, and most with dedications or final proofs (marked bon à tirer).