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GERALD LAING City Center Light Opera 1968, Lime colored Screenprint on die-cut Mylar. Hand Signed. Dated. Numbered.
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This rare screenprint was created by renowned British Pop Art pioneer Gerald Laing, during one of the most influential eras in the artist's career. It was part of the New York City Center of Music and Drama portfolio, to raise funds for its 25th anniversary celebration in the mid-Sixties. The City Center was New York’s first cultural center of theatres, and ballet, opera and drama companies. Artists who were commissioned to create works for this important portfolio include Richard Anuszkiewicz, Jim Dine, Robert Indiana, Lowell Nesbitt, George Segal and Jack Youngerman. This work was acquired as part of a complete portfolio, with an introduction by Mayor John Lindsay. Legendary Metropolitan Museum curator Henry Geldzahler wrote the Introduction to the portfolio, noting that American art "has become sure of itself (some might say cocky) for the first time in this century, with the consequent attributes of clarity, powerful design and the immediate recognizability of a multitude of personal styles."
Regarding the present work offered here, Geldzahler wrote, "Gerald Laing, an English sculptor residing in New York, has made an abstract design for the City Center Light Opera which incorporates his highly original and effective lettering based on a circle within a circle, in this case backed by a yellow plane indicative of a continuing perspective behind the letters." Gerald Laing himself wrote of this work, "The forms I use belong generally to several distinct families, all of which stem logically from earlier figurative paintings. The chromium shapes in the silkscreen for the City Center Light Opera are from the group I call Pins (cotter pin, hairpin, safety pin, kingpin). They constitute hero, heroine and chorus on a green set, floodlit by yellow floodlights."
This is the first time since 1968 that it will be separated from its original portfolio box designed by famed Pop Artist Peter Gee, which contained the entire collection of works. Other impressions are in the permanent collections of major institutions such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Hand signed, numbered and dated in pencil on recto (front).