Flatiron Building

William Kentridge (b. 1955), Flatiron Building, (also known as I Am Still Learning), drypoint, 1985, on Rives paper with their watermark, signed, dated and dedicated For Hermine from William ’86; inscribed AP lower left, in excellent condition, with full margins, 7 3/4 x 5 1/4, the sheet 13 1/4 x 9 1/2 inches.

Provenance: Gift of the artist
Estate of Hermine Chivian-Cobb, New York

Hermine Chivian-Cobb was a brilliant and highly regarded professional both as an art historian and a fine arts appraiser. Educated at Smith College, the Ecole du Louvre, and the Institute of Fine Arts of New York University, her broad knowledge of European art ranged from the 17th to the 20th century, including Russian painting and theater design. Her distinguished career included work at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Sotheby’s, and Wildenstein Gallery.

This composition shows the artist in New York, his back turned to the viewer with his portfolio under his arm. He is seen walking away from the viewer precariously close to an open manhole. A warthog standing on the roof of a car in the foreground adds to the sense of alienation and displacement, felt by the artist struggling to find his place in an unfamiliar and congested environment. Of course in recent years Kentridge’s work has been heralded in New York – and beyond.

Flatiron Building is rare, only a few proofs are known, each inscribed AP (artist’s proof); we know of no edition.