While best known for his paintings and sculptures, Rafael Canogar was also a prolific printmaker, and La Violencia is one of his most important graphic works. Printed at Tamarind Workshop in Los Angeles, La Violencia is a suite of eight emotionally-charged lithographs depicting the harsh realities of violent conflict.

The lithographs are printed primarily in dramatic black-and-white, except for the introduction lithograph, which is printed in red. Setting the tone for the portfolio, the introduction is a handwritten Spanish translation of an excerpt from Pensées by the French mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal. The English translation of Pascal’s ironic reflection is:

Why do you kill me? What! do you not live on the other side of the water? If you lived on this side, my friend, I should be an assassin, and it would be unjust to slay you in this manner. But since you live on the other side, I am a hero, and it is just.

The suite includes the untitled introduction, Descolorida Paz, Preciosa Guerra (Pale Peace, Beautiful War), Los Revolucionarios (The Revolutionaries), La Pelea (The Flight), Los Prisioneros (The Prisoners), El Herido (The Wounded One), El Muerto (The Dead One), and a colophon. The prints are enclosed in translucent Eastern-made paper marked with a number to order the prints within the suite (this sheet is lacking for the fourth print). This volume is housed in a cloth-covered portfolio with two leather and brass snap closures. The title is stamped in gold on the cover.

This stunning work, while depicting theoretical events in the Latin America of the late 1960s, is disturbingly pertinent to today’s world scene.  This work is included in the collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Norton Simon Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, and the San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art, among others.

This copy is number 13 out of only 20 impressions on calendered Rives paper, with nine Tamarind copies on uncalendered Rives, plus trial and artist’s proofs. Each print is signed, numbered, and dated by the artist. Aside from some fraying of the cloth at one corner of the portfolio and some minor abrasions on the verso of some of the prints, this copy is in excellent condition.

 

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© 2017 Boreas Fine Art