Clifford Harper (1949 - )

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Clifford Harper (1949 - )

5,000.00

Clifford Harper (1949 - )
"Erotic Overseer"
Original Pen & Ink Composition
12 x 12 inches (pen & ink)
21 x 21 inches (frame)
Signed: "HARPER" (low right in white ink)
Purchased direct from artist in 1993

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Clifford Harper is a "worker, illustrator and militant anarchist" who has more than made his significant and lasting impression on the art world with his outstanding and eye popping illustrations over the last 40 years! Born in Chiswick in 1949 to a mother who was a cook and father who was a postman their was no art exposure firsthand in the family. Harper got expelled from school at the age of 13 and in 1967 moved to a commune before staring his own commune on Eel Pie Island in 1969. This same year he contracted TB and was in the hospital for 3 months which left his lungs and heart badly damaged resulting in a plague of health related problems his entire life. 

It was not until the early 1970's that Harper became a prolific illustrator artist for many radical, anarchist, alternative and mainstream publications and organizations. Clifford was heavily influenced by George Grosz, Felix Vallotton, Fernand Leger, Eric Gill and most of all by the woodcuts of Frans Masereel. Harpers original illustrations are highly cherished and incredibly scarce rarely ever making an appearance on the market due to the fact the majority are held in the private collections of the publishers who he worked for. 

This original pen and ink composition mimics his beloved style of early 20th century woodblocks in the stark black and white style. Depicting a nude woman having sexual relations a black male Harper interestingly placed a third subject in the upper left corner viewing this supposed private interaction. Unfortunately we do not know who this man is viewing from the top but it appears he was added after the composition was complete because it is on a separate piece of paper that has been attached to it and is now slightly curling up around its corners. A large light is in the top center is revealing this scene with incredible contrast in the monotone scheme.

This original is not only created using ink and pen but also a more specialized scratching technique rarely seen. Harper used this technique in areas where he wanted the fine black lines to really blend into the white which can be seen in the females abdominal shadows, breasts and underside of her leg. This slight scratching technique gives the work a little texture and personality as we see in this modern master illustrators finalized work. The condition is excellent but their is minor foxing in the white areas, other than that this work is pristine and has been well taken care of.

This work was originally purchased in 1993 in London directly from Harper for roughly 2,000 USD. It was acquired by a collector of erotic art and since then has never been seen on the market until now. Two other original compositions of Clifford Harper were in this collection and all three are now for sale. If you have any questions please feel free to ask prior to purchasing!

Like always please feel free to contact us directly at inquire@henningfineart.com below if you have any questions. 

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