ATHOS ZACHARIAS Lion's Head ca. 1960 [R/V] - x +

CN: ZacA1960lion

MT: mixed media: photo transfer of litho printed paper on BFK paper within perspex case (17x25 / FR:36x29x4)

TX: signed with felt pen at lower right of picture in English <Zacharias>, inscribed with ballpoint pen at center under picture <"LION'S HEAD">, inscribed with pencil at rear upper center <LION'S HEAD // Athos / Zacharias>, with felt pen <watercolor on paper // 7x9½ / Collection of Elaine DeKooning>, printed on sticker mounted at center <Athansios Zacharias (b. 1927, American), / painting - "Lion's Head", watercolor on paper, / signed "Zacharias", lower right 6.75" x 9.75" / (sheet), plexi box frame, overall good condition / - / Provenance: The Estate of Elaine de Kooning>

DN: Mr. Takis Efstathiou - 2008

CT: Dr. John S. Bailey Art Collection, Athens

CM: "Lion's Head is a beach here in East Hampton, and I built a small summer house about 1956, which an architect friend of mine, Iver W. Lofving, designed. At that time he was working for Philip Johnson and so it resembled his glass house, only I built it with second hand beams from a wrecking yard with a hand saw, because there was no electricity on my street at that time. I took many photos of the project. In 1962 I collaborated with my friend in designing a much larger house next door. I hired masons to put up the walls and I did all the rest with the help of my son, Denis when he became old enough. It took many, many years. All this is background info that help me date Lion's Head in the early sixties. I did many more of them, but they seemed to have disappeared. I believe they were influenced by Robert Rauschenberg, who was doing a lot of photo transfers at the time. The writing on the back, "watercolor on paper" is not my handwriting and is false. It is a photo transfer by using lighter fluid, which burned my finger tips. I remember going so far as to visit the plant where they printed the paper in order to get some samples of the ink. I applied the laquer thinner to a printed image from the magazine section of The New York Times, and quickly turned it over to use a photograthers squeege to squeeze the soluble ink onto BFK paper, which is very absorbent. It was done very quickly and many accidental effects occured. Therefore the Lion's Head image is completely accidental. The point was to recognize the accident as a reflection of yourself. The accident is of paramount importance in the Abstract Expressionism credo. As known, I was assistant to Willem and Elaine De Kooning. Whenever Elaine sold one of her paintings, she would buy something from a younger artist. She had an exhibition of her collection at the Elaine Benson Gallery in Bridgehampton, close by. She had bought a small portrait of my wife, Mary, who had died. I told my daughter, Rena, who was born in Greece, to go there and buy it. The gallery owner informed Elaine that Rena wanted to buy the portrait of her mother. Elaine arranged for the portrait to be given as a gift. Apparently Elaine's heirs have auctioned off the rest of her collection." [Athos Zacharias 26/08/2008]