RÁKÓCZI, Basil

In the Beginning. Illustrations for the Book of Genesis by Basil Ivan Rákóczi.

£1,800.00

Description

Folio. Loose sheets as issued in folder and slip-case. 33 etched plates, 17of text on a grey background, 16 full-page plates each one numbered and signed by the artist. No. 48/50 copies, from a total edition of 60. Hand-printed on Vélin d’Arches, signed by the artist, printer and Alexandre Sarrès, who did the lay-out. Printed on the presses of the Circle of the White Stag. A little foxing, folder and slip-case rubbed, the slip-case heavily with the loss of one panel.

Book of Genesis

 

Item details

Folio. Loose sheets as issued in folder and slip-case. 33 etched plates, 17of text on a grey background, 16 full-page plates each one numbered and signed by the artist. No. 48/50 copies, from a total edition of 60. Hand-printed on Vélin d’Arches, signed by the artist, printer and Alexandre Sarrès, who did the lay-out. Printed on the presses of the Circle of the White Stag. A little foxing, folder and slip-case rubbed, the slip-case heavily with the loss of one panel. Rákóczi was born on 31 May 1908 in Chelsea to Charlotte May Dobby and Ivan Rákóczi. His memories of his father rely mostly on fond reminiscences from his mother. Throughout his life he was proud of both his Irish heritage from his mother’s side and his Hungarian heritage from his father’s. He also held high regard for gypsy practices as his parents had been married in accordance to gypsy rites. Later in his life, he also rediscovered his Celtic roots.
Basil Rakoczi also wrote an autobiography that details his life in an imaginative but frank and honest way. There are currently no planned publications of this autobiography though an official biography is rumoured to being worked upon.
His style varies greatly as he believed to explore psychological aspects of his work. A great many of his friends and contemporaries relied on psychology as a means of art and a number of his friends were members of the Society of Creative Psychology. As a result, his painting have a very modernist yet unique style that is only repeated within the group he formed and ran, The White Stag. He primarily used oil and gouache as a medium but frequently worked with monotype and watercolour and ceramics for tile designs.
Basil Rákóczi’s work has featured in over 150 exhibitions, of which more than 60 have been solo shows. His first commercial exhibition was in 1935 at the Artificer’s Guild in Cambridge and throughout his life, he had regular exhibitions at the Irish Museum of Living Art, the Royal Hibernian Academy and the Watercolour Society of Ireland.
More recently, in the summer of 2005, his paintings were featured at the Irish Museum of Modern Art along with other White Stag works in a successful exhibition.
He has art works in public collections across the globe including the University of Sussex, Derby City Art Gallery, Manchester City Art Gallery, Dublin’s Trinity College, the Ulster Museum in Belfast, the Queensland Australia National Collection and Auckland City Art Gallery. The White Stag Group was a group of artists centred on the painters Basil Rakoczi and Kenneth Hall.

Founded in London in 1935, the group moved to Ireland in 1939 and stayed until after the Second World War. Their group philosophy, which they called Subjectivist Art was not associated with any particular style or set belief, instead, it encouraged an exploration of psychology and of modernist ideas. They also believed in aesthetic experimentation and aesthetics as an objective in art. Although formed in London and guided by two British born artists (Hall and Rakozci) the group has been described as “an Irish phenomenon” by the Irish art expert Dr. S B Kennedy.

The group was at the vanguard of modern artistic ideas in Ireland, were involved in the Irish Exhibition of Living Art and influenced Patrick Scott, Gerald Dillon and Louis le Brocquy. The Irish composer Brian Boydell, at that time a visual artist, was also a member of the group. The Irish Museum of Modern Art put on a White Stag retrospective during the summer of 2005.

Item details

Publisher: White Stag Group.
Signed: Yes
Format: Loose in cloth folder.
Date: 1961
Place: Paris
Edition: First edition
Book ID: 021403

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