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TAKE IT EASY BUT TAKE IT!, William Kent, Amer., (1919-20012)
Slate Print printed in blue and red, 1964, Ed. 5/70, 11" x 11", signed, numbered and dated in pencil, on a cream laid japan paper with full margins. Kent was attracted to the lithe and graceful nudes which adorned ancient Greek pottery, as well as the Greek's frank portrayal of sexuality. He utilized several of these mythical figures in his early erotic series of slate prints, all seeming to comment on the restrictions, confusion and shame which often surrounded sexual desire in American society as Kent came of age. HIs motto here seems to say, "Be careful and respectful, but go for it!" Today, with the issues of sexual harassment and abuse constantly in the news, Kent's 1960's erotic prints invite renewed critical consideration for their candid commentary on American sexual mores and proclivities. This print was particularly significant for Kent; he carved his initials quite prominently into the slate. He actively exhibited it to broadcast his points of view on sexual roles, printing multiple and larger editions of this print than any other, and often gifting it to friends as a memento of what he believed. Kent delighted in the variations achieved printing on different colors of japan paper as well as many colorful patterned fabrics, and varying the colors of his inked slate matrices as well. The embossed dimensionality he achieved here is striking.