Helmut FederleUntitled 1999-2000

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Artwork details

Helmut Federle (born 1944)
Date 1999-2000
MediumPhoto-etching, aquatint and etching on paper
Dimensionsimage: 295 x 210 mm
Acquisition Purchased 2002
View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms


Blue Sisters, Structures of Deviance is a portfolio of ten prints executed in blue ink on white paper. Five are photogravures depicting trees. The other five are soft ground etching and aquatint on paper; these images are abstract and have a smaller plate size than the photogravures. The prints were produced at Druckatelier Kurt Zein in Vienna, where the artist lives and works. They were published in an edition of thirty-five with ten artist’s and publisher’s proofs; Tate owns number eleven in the edition.

Federle has travelled extensively and for many years has taken photographs of trees during his international journeys. The photographs used in this portfolio were taken on four continents and depict large trees in diverse landscapes. The images are taken from a low viewpoint and cropped so that the tops of the depicted trees are not visible. Federle highlights the structural forms of the trunks and branches, and emphasises the connection between the trees and the ground. The photographic prints are reproduced in a deep blue. Although the source photographs were taken in daylight, the colouration gives the prints a contemplative, nocturnal quality… (read more)

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