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Alice Trumbull Mason

Deep Sound

image: 13 7/8 x 15 7/8" sheet: 15 x 19"


Deep Sound stands as an exceptional abstract composition, making evident Alice Trumbull Mason's adept command of line, pattern, texture, and form. Her chosen medium of softground etching and aquatint demonstrates vividly the experimental printmaking techniques honed by Mason while working at Stanley William Hayter’s Atelier 17. By pressing fabrics into a coating of wax rolled onto a copper plate, Trumbull Mason creates layers of texture and pattern and tone into the etched plate. The lightest shapes are achieved by scraping into the etched textures, and deep, aquatint tones. The richness of Deep Sound is owed to this building up and removing of information.


Trumbull Mason began working at Atelier 17 in the mid 1940s and brought with her a wealth of artistic education, having studied at prestigious institutions such as the British Academy and the National Academy of Design. Furthermore, she received direct tutelage under Arshille Gorky at the Grand Central School of Art. She was a founding member of the Associated Abstract Artists group, exhibiting her paintings and prints with AAA, as well as solo exhibitions at the Museum of Living Art (founded by A E Gallatin at NYU), and Rose Fried’s distinguished New York gallery, Pinacotheca.

Trumbull Mason's artistic confidence and maturity in employing modernist techniques and addressing contemporary concerns are clearly evident in her graphic works from this period. Deep Sound is testament to her proficiency, with its compelling synthesis of innovative printmaking methods and a nuanced understanding of abstraction.