Man With Arms Folded


Isabel Bishop (1902-1988), Man With Arms Folded, etching, 1929-1943, signed in pencil lower right margin, numbered (XV/XXV) lower left. Reference: Teller 7a, from the AAA edition of 25 (after a few proofs made by the artist earlier). In excellent condition, with full margins, 5 3/8 x 3 5/8, the sheet 13 x 10 inches, archival matting.

A fine impression, printed by Stephen Sholinsky of Stem Graphics, and with his chop mark, a stylized double S,  lower right margin. Printed on a Rives Heavyweight paper, published by Associated American Artists, 1985.

Isabel Bishop’s prints were virtually always of figures, drawn directly from her models. Here, the model is probably a denizen of 14th Street, a man in a reflective posture. Interestingly, the print has a number of markings at the right (semi-circles, the letters H and X, a circle) that seem at first glance to have nothing to do with the composition. We know of another such print by her close colleague Reginald Marsh, his Girl Standing, Repeated of 1943 (Sasowsky 224) which also has such marks. Whether these marks on Man With Arms Folded were already on the plate, or represent some testing of the plate – or were in fact added to enhance the composition, which they do, is something of a mystery.