1964 Aquatint and drypoint
16 original prints, each 19 x 24 7/8 inches; additional work on the vellum cover, 21 1/4 x 25 1/4 inches
Inscription: Each sheet is signed in pencil, "M"
Provenance: Mourlot Freres Gallery, France
R. Erkes, Malibu
Private collection, Los Angeles
Literature: The complete set of sixteen initialed drypoints, with colors in aquatint, accompanies the text "Flux de l'Aimant" [Magnetic Flow] by the renowned Surrealist poet and Resistance fighter, René Char (French 1907-1988) Note: Individual sheets from this suite can be found on offer at prices ranging from $8,000 to $15,000.
"Magnetic flux" is the product of the average magnetic field times the perpendicular area that it penetrates. It is a quantity of convenience in the statement of Faraday's Law and in the discussion of objects like transformers and solenoids. In the case of an electric generator where the magnetic field penetrates a rotating coil, the area used in defining the flux is the projection of the coil area onto the plane perpendicular to the magnetic field; the contribution to magnetic flux for a given area is equal to the area times the component of magnetic field perpendicular to the area. For a closed surface, the sum of magnetic flux is always equal to zero (Gauss' law for magnetism).
But magnetic flux is more than that: to two poets, the poet René Char and the artist-poet Joan Miró. "Flux de l'aimant", Magnetic flux is a metaphor for something else, a stab at understanding and visualizing the way that poetry and art work upon those who experience them as electricity works upon magnetic fields, a collaboration between the poet René Char and Miró combining Miró's drypoints (in color and in black and white) with Char's meditations upon Miró's art.
The portfolio was published by Maeght Editeur in Paris, the publishing arm of Miró's dealer, Galerie Maeght, in 1964 in an edition of 75 on Rives vellum. The cover is printed on parchment, the remainder on a cream-colored Rives vellum.
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