This print echoes the Prison series of small sculptures Bontecou was making at the time, in which menacing-looking objects, often mechanical parts and other leftovers the artist picked up on the street, are trapped behind striated bands of metal.
Gallery label from Artistic Collaborations: 50 Years at Universal Limited Art Editions, January 17–May 21, 2007.
The toothy mouths that dominate this print echo the metal saw blades Bontecou trapped behind metal bands in her series of sculptures known as the Prisons, made in the early 1960s and incorporating materials she found at army surplus and hardware stores in Manhattan. The horizontal striations heighten the work’s ominous tone by suggesting the stripes of prison uniforms or jail bars.
Bontecou began making prints in 1962, at the suggestion of Tatyana Grosman, the founder of the New York print publishers Universal Limited Art Editions (ULAE). The title of this work, Fourth Stone, refers matter-of-factly to its medium: this is the fourth print she made at ULAE and lithographs are printed from the surface of stones.
Gallery label from Lee Bontecou: All Freedom in Every Sense, April 21–August 30, 2010 .