New York: Harper and Row, 1971.
Offset lithograph. Image measures 10" x 16". Sheet measures 14 5/8" x 19 1/4". Unsigned.
The original print of artwork from Maurice Sendak's 1970 "In The Night Kitchen" was part of a boxed set released by Harper and Row in 1971. Entitled "Pictures by Maurice Sendak," the set includes original prints of images from the author's books, here printed on single sheets rather than on two-page spreads.
This particular image shows a dream-like scene of three bakers gazing upwards at the main character, a little boy named Mickey, flying over a milk bottle in a small plane made of bread. The background for the scene resembles a cityscape, with pantry and kitchen items portrayed as buildings and skyscrapers. The bakers closely resemble Oliver Hardy, a comic actor known for his silent films. This is thought to be a reference to the 1930s, a period Sendak evokes throughout the book in his style, use of color, and allusions to pop-culture and design.
In his introduction to this box set, Sendak writes of In the Night Kitchen as "influenced not by an artistic mode of the past that I consider superior but by art that was very real and potent to a child growing up in America in the thirties and forties. Night Kitchen and, to a lesser degree, Wild Things reflect a popular American art both crass and oddly surrealistic, an art that encompasses the Empire State Building, syncopated Disney cartoons, and aluminum-clad, comic-book heroes, an Art Moderne whose richness of detail was most sensuously catalogued in the movies." His diversion from his usual style inspired by Victorian artists and children's books is evident in his use of deeper, more muted colors, and the lack of cross-hatching utilized in most of his work to show depth and texture. The print is in very good condition with wide margins as issued. Some faint foxing in margins, not affecting the image.
Maurice Sendak (1928-2012) was an American illustrator and writer known for his children's books. Producing illustrations for other authors as well as for television, he is best remembered for "Where the Wild Things Are," which is considered by some to be one of the first contemporary picture books.This print is a lovely example and memento of his work. Scarce.