Hell Hole

sloanhellholeaJohn Sloan (1871-1951), Hell Hole, 1917, etching and aquatint, signed bottom right, titled bottom center, and inscribed “100 proofs”. Reference: Morse 186, second state (of 2). From the edition of 100, printing of 110. In good condition, slight toning; with wide margins (trimmed irregularly at right and left, soft folds in margins, with  the printer Peter Platt’s drying holes and associated paper losses, reinforced tears and nicks at margin edges). On a cream wove paper, 8 x 10, the sheet 11 1/2 x 14 3/4 inches, window matted.

A fine impression of this Sloan masterpiece.

This impression was printed by Peter Platt, one of Sloan’s favorite and most effective printers. Platt impressions of The Hell Hole are richer and clearer than many of the other impressions of this print (he printed a bit less than half of the edition). Platt tacked the print to a board after printing, and so on impressions that have not been trimmed one typically finds his drying tack holes near the edges of his impressions.

Sloan wrote of this etching: “The back room of Wallace’s at Sixth Avenue and West Fourth Street was a gathering place for artists, writers, and bohemians of Greenwich Village. The character in the upper right hand corner of the plate is Eugene O’Neill. Strongly etched lines are reinforced by aquatint tones.”