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recto: Man with Matisse tattoo (state proof). verso: Untitled, from the suite The image in search of itself

recto 1978
verso 1971


R.B. Kitaj

United States of America, England

29 Oct 1932 – 21 Oct 2007

Victor Pasmore


03 Dec 1908 – 23 Jan 1998

  • Details

    recto 1978
    verso 1971
    Media category
    Materials used
    2 screenprints, printed both sides of sheet
    Kitaj: 1st state proof 1/2 [edition of 50 plus proofs]; Pasmore: proof

    recto - Kitaj, 80 x 61 cm, sheet

    verso - Pasmore, 61 x 80 cm, sheet

    Signature & date

    Signed l.r. recto, pencil "...Kitaj...". Not dated.

    Gift of Douglas Kagi 2018. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program
    Not on display
    Accession number
    © Estate of RB Kitaj © Estate of the Artist, courtesy Marlborough Fine Art, London

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    R.B. Kitaj

    Works in the collection


    Artist information
    Victor Pasmore

    Works in the collection


  • About

    This double-sided screenprint features two works by two different artists, printed seven years apart at Kelpra Studios, London. It is standard practice for a workshop and printer to retain an impression of a work for their archive, but not to use the reverse as a proof for another artist. Were Kelpra Studios and R.B. Kitaj playing a joke on Victor Pasmore, or maybe just running short on paper? Kitaj gifted the prints to Tony Reichardt of Marlborough Graphics, his and Pasmore’s dealer, acknowledging Pasmore through his inscription.

    In Kitaj’s ‘Man with Matisse tattoo (state proof)’ 1978 we see a muscular male nude wearing a cap and smoking a cigarette. This print is a first-state proof and shows the torso before it is covered with the ‘tattoo’ of Matisse’s ‘Blue nude’ of 1952. A state proof is a working proof; the impression is pulled during the creation of the image, allowing the artist to assess the progress and make changes where necessary.

    Pasmore’s ‘Untitled ‘1971, from the suite ‘The image in search of itself’, displays his interest in linear motifs and movement. A pioneer of British abstract art, Pasmore created simple yet dynamic images that loosely relate to patterns in nature. The meandering lines in ‘Untitled’ could therefore be viewed as a topographic terrain map, flowing water, wood grain or even a fingerprint.

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 2 publications

Other works by R.B. Kitaj

See all 104 works

Other works by Victor Pasmore

See all 10 works