Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

Welcome to the Spencer Collection

Eighth Stone
  • Lee Bontecou, artist
    born 1931
    born: Providence, Rhode Island, United States ; active: United States
    Universal Limited Art Editions (ULAE), publisher
    founded 1957
  • Eighth Stone, 1965–1968
  • Where object was made: United States
  • lithograph
  • Image Dimensions Height/Width: 151 x 239 mm
    Image Dimensions Height/Width: 5 15/16 x 9 7/16 in
    Sheet/Paper Dimensions: 628 x 521 mm
    Sheet/Paper Dimensions: 24 3/4 x 20 1/2 in
    Mat Dimensions: 32 x 24 in
  • Gift of Charles M. and Susan Alyson Young; Portland, CT
  • Not on display
  • 2013.0191
Label Text
Catalogue raisonné

Exhibition Label:
"A Wry Eye: Witty, Sardonic and Ironic Work by Contemporary Printmakers", 22-Apr-2017
Art critic and philosopher Arthur Danto describes the sculptural work of Bontecou as lying “at the intersection of magnified insects, battle masks, and armored chariots.” In her own words, Bontecou strives to capture “the visual wonders and horrors” of the natural
world. Her lithographs capture the gnarly metallic features of her metal constructions that seem to look and speak through openings lined with rows of saw teeth.

Virtual Exhibition Label:
"Under Construction", 19-Jun-2015
Working predominantly with abstract forms, artist Lee Bontecou often incorporates organic and figurative references to the wonders and horrors of humanity. The blackened opening in the center of this work could evoke a range of emotions, from mysterious to unsettling to wondrous. The dilated dark void, typical of Bontecou’s sculptural work, is found enveloped in a bulging, otherworldly atmosphere that resembles a human eye.

The title, Eighth Stone, refers to the lithographic stone Bontecou used to make this print. Lithography is a printmaking process that involves drawing on a flat stone or metal surface with a grease-crayon. The stone is treated chemically so that the drawn image is ink-receptive but the blank areas are ink-repellent; thus, the ink only adheres to where the artist has drawn an image. The inked image is then transferred onto paper when the stone is run through a printing press. Bontecou titled many of her prints in the numerical order she produced them; the Spencer Museum also has First Stone in its collection.