np: 1957. Provenance: acquired by Peter Howard of Serendipity Books from Robert Creeley.
The immensely talented Laubies was a visual artist associated at different times with the Tachisme, Art Informel, and Nuagisme movements. He was also the first translator of Ezra Pound into French, and it was Ezra Pound who introduced Creeley to Laubies in Paris in 1951. They would become close friends and collaborators, and it was via Laubie and the Galerie Fachetti that Creeley was first exposed to Abstraction Expressionism (for a discussion of this period, see the interview with Creeley in John Wilson’s A Sense of Increment). Laubies contributed the iconic cover to the first edition of his The Gold Diggers, published under Creeley’s own Divers Press imprint in 1954, and also on The Immoral Proposition for Jargon Press the year prior.
The second drawing here, "The Party", was published in the [ ] issue of the Black Mountain Review, making this a very rare chance to acquire original artwork published in the most important American avant-garde periodical of the postwar period.
According to Peter Howard’s notes - preserved on the cardboard backing of the cheap plastic frames in the drawings were discovered - these drawings for gathered for an unrealized, illustrated edition of the book, and are dated by the artist in 1957, three years after the first edition was published.
Creeley’s book would acquire a cult following in subsequent years, and was republished several times, yet never with these illustrations.
Laubies died in 2006 under mysterious circumstances in the city of Mangalore, in Southern India, after being admitted by a stranger. It is our hope that these images might be incorporated into a future edition of The Gold Diggers.
All the drawings are ink on paper, each sheet tipped onto a sheet of card stock, which has been titled in Laubie’s hand at verso, signed, and dated in 1957.
a) 3 of Three = Three Fate Tales. 13 1/2 x 15”.
b) The Party. 11 3/4 x 15 1/2”.
c) In the Summer. 11 3/8 x 15 1/2”.
d) The Blue. 12 1/2 x 15 1/2”.
e) The Face. 12 1/2 x 15 1/2”.
The mattes upon which the drawings are matted are toned, stained, creased, and tidemarked along margins, with numerous tackholes at tips. The drawings themselves show no visual evidence of being affected by the marginal tidemarking, with the occasional crease and a couple closed tears to margins. Item #27442