- Museum number
Series: 21 Etchings and Poems
Poem by Harold Rosenberg illustrated with upside-down semi-abstraction of two figures, one bird-like. 1960
Etching and aquatint
- Production date
Height: 302 millimetres
Width: 343 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- See Curator's Comment for 1987,0411.10.
Exhibited 1991 Jan-April, BM, Recent Acquisitions (no cat.)
Text from Stephen Coppel, 'The American Scene: Prints from Hopper to Pollock', with the assistance of Jerzy Kierkuc-Bielinski, BMP, 2008, no. 145.
Revenge is De Kooning's earliest surviving etching. It was produced in 1957 to accompany a poem of the same title by Harold Rosenberg for the portfolio 21 Etchings and Poems. Inspired by William Blake's illuminated books, 21 Etchings and Poems was a collaborative project between painters and poets to produce a pictured poem on the intaglio plate. The poets and writers included Dylan Thomas, Frank O'Hara, Sir Herbert Read and Harold Rosenberg. Contributing artists included Franz Kline (cat. 146), Adja Yunkers, S.W. Hayter, Fred Becker and Ben Nicholson. Begun in 1951, after Peter Grippe took over Atelier 17 in New York following Hayter's return to Paris, the portfolio was eventually published in an edition of fifty by the Morris Gallery, New York, in 1960. With the exception of one plate which the artist André Racz printed himself, the printing of the edition was done by the firm Anderson and Lamb in Brooklyn.
As well as writing poetry, Rosenberg was better known as the champion of Abstract Expressionism, for which he coined the term 'action painting'. He and De Kooning were lifelong friends. Rosenberg's handwritten poem appears in the upper register of De Kooning's vigorously gestural etching, beneath which is scrawled the word 'revenge' over the figural vestiges of a female form.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2008 April-Sep, BM, The American Scene, cat. no.145
2009 Feb-April, Nottingham, Djanogly AG, The American Scene
2009 May-Aug, Brighton Museum & AG, The American Scene
2009 Sep-Dec, Manchester, Whitworth AG, The American Scene
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number