The Rainmaker

Bernard CHILDS

"The Rainmaker" is an intaglio, an engraving, produced in 1955 using both power tool and burin engraving, colored a la poupee. The platemark measures 6-7/8 x 12-3/4 inches. This impression is pencil signed, titled, dated, and editioned "35/35" by the artist beneath the platemark. It is also inscribed "imprime par l'auter" in the lower right margin, indicating that it was printed by the artist, in this case in his Paris studio, on a sheet of ivory Arches wove paper that measures 11-1/8 x 17-3/4 inches.

"The Rainmaker," one of Childs' most exhibited color intaglios, was originally commissioned by Contemporaries gallery in New York. The gallery owner, printmaker Margaret Lowengrund, died before the payment was made and the prints were returned to the artist by the estate. The Contemporaries became the Pratt Graphic Art Center after her death.

Childs used a copper plate which he engraved with power drills, burrs, saws and a burin. He referred to this as a "power dry point." The color was achieved with four inks that were printed in a single pass. Colors will vary slightly from impression to impression. "The Rainmaker" was done in an edition of 35 plus a number of artist's proofs and trial proofs. It is illustrated in a number of publications.

Childs met the Danish silversmith Peer Smed and later remarked: "From this great craftsman I learned the beauty of metals, the feel of them in my hands, the excitement of fashioning them and the use of the special tools that bring them to life."

He later mastered industrial tools and metalworking while employed as a machinist. Childs moved to Europe in 1951, living for a year in Italy before settling in Paris for the next fifteen years. In 1954, while spending a few months at Atelier 17 in Paris, Childs combined his interest in metal and knowledge of industrial tools to make experimental intaglio prints, using power tools to incise the plates.

6 7/8 x 12 3/4 inches
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