Dóra Maurer

Traces of a Circle


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Dóra Maurer born 1937
Drypoint on paper
Plate: 295 × 297 mm
plate: 294 × 297 mm
plate: 296 × 298 mm
plate: 295 × 298 mm
Purchased 1985

Catalogue entry

Dóra Maurer born 1937

P77125 Traces of a Circle 1974

Drypoint and embossing on two sheets of Zerkal Büttenpapier each 500 x 697 (19 11/16 x 27 7/16); four plate-marks each 295 x 297 (11 5/8 x 11 11/16); printed and published by the artist in an edition of 10
Inscribed on (i) ‘Maurer 1974' below image b.r., ‘10/10' below image bottom centre and ‘Környmok | 1-2 (traces of a circle)' below image b.l.; on (ii) ‘Maurer 1974' below image b.r., ‘10/10' below image bottom centre and ‘Környmok 3-4 | (traces of a circle)' below image b.l.
Purchased from the artist (Grant-in-Aid) 1985
Lit: Lórand Hegyi, untitled essay in Maurer Dóra: Munkàk/Arbeiten 1958-1983, exh. cat., Ernst Múzeum, Budapest, Museum moderner Kunst, Vienna 1984, p.20, repr. pp.22-3, as ‘Környomok/Kreisspuren 1-4'. Also repr: Dóra Maurer Verschiebungen 1972-75, exh. cat., Neue Galerie am Landesmuseum Joanneum, Graz 1975, [p.27], as ‘kreisspuren')

This entry is based on a letter from the artist to the compiler dated 20 January 1988 except where otherwise stated.

There were several stages in the making of this print. First, a coil of wire was placed under a thin metal plate. This was pressed so that the plate took on the relief form of the wire, which was then removed. After the plate was inked, a print was taken. In the process the metal plate was nearly flattened and the indentations in the plate were pressed into the paper, giving it, Maurer writes, ‘an object character'. The first of the ‘Traces of Circle' records the stage of just one printing of the plate. The wire was then placed under the plate in a different configuration and the sequence of steps repeated. The subsequent prints show faint traces of the previous positions of the wire coil. Wanting to avoid the temptation of manipulating the process for aesthetic ends, Maurer chose not to make trial proofs and pulled only a small number of copies of each stage. In particular, she hoped with this printing/tracing process to escape from what she describes as the ethos of the multiple, traditional in print making.

The artist relates ‘Traces of a Circle' to a portfolio of ten prints entitled ‘Word Traces' (Bujdosó Alpar, Irreverzibilia Zeneon, Paris 1985, repr. pp.84-8) and to a series of single prints called ‘Traces of Words' made in the previous year. The origins of the idea behind this print lies, Maurer writes, in a series of ‘object pictures' called ‘Pedotypes' which were made by walking with paint-covered feet in a circle on sheets of paper (for a photograph of this process see Budapest catalogue 1984, p.10). The artist sees ‘Traces of a Circle' as springing from what she terms the ‘plasticity' of the ‘Pedotypes' and from the idea of ‘shifting' which she had developed in works such as P77124. In 1976 Maurer made a similar print when demontrating some of her print-making techniques. On this occasion, however, she used rope instead of wire and produced a series of three rather than four images.

This entry has been approved by the artist.

Published in:
The Tate Gallery 1984-86: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions Including Supplement to Catalogue of Acquisitions 1982-84, Tate Gallery, London 1988, pp.418-19

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