About Women

John Altoon (American, 1925-1969)
19 x 19-1/16 in. (48.3 x 48.4 cm) 
Credit Line:
Norton Simon Museum, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. David Gensberg, 1967 
Accession Number:
© 2022 The Estate of John Altoon and Kohn Gallery, Los Angeles 
On View

Inspired by Robert Creeley’s poems, this livre d’artiste was created by John Altoon soon after the establishment of Gemini Ltd. by Tamarind-trained master printer Ken Tyler. Altoon lived next door to the newly founded workshop at 8221 Melrose Avenue, and Tyler recalled that making the book had been “absolute heaven,” since both artist and printer wanted only the other’s happiness. Altoon included 10 lithographs to three poems by Creeley (“Anger,” “The Woman” and “Distance”), relaying the artist’s trademark fluidity of line and application of pastel colors. Indeed, the portfolio reflects the continuation of Altoon’s interest in the expressive potential of gestural imagery. Here he draws on the intense emotional range that permeates all relationships, as explored in Creeley’s verse.

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