Robert BECHTLE, Sunset Street Enlarge 1 /1


United States of America born 1932

Sunset Street 1982 Place made: California, United States of America
Materials & Technique: prints, Intaglio Colour softground etching Support: Somerset medium-weight off-white wove paper
Manufacturer's Mark: drystamp embossed l.r " Crown Point Press/ Peter Petlengill"
Impression: 12 out of 50
Place Published: California
Date Published: 1982

Edition Notes: Printed at Crown Point Press in Oakland California by Peter Petlengill, assisted by June Lambla and Lilah Toland. Printed in colour from multiple plates [grey, green, orange, yellow, colbolt blue and purple]
Primary Insc: signed l.r below plate-mark, in pencil " Bechtle"; inscribed l.l, in pencil " 12/50".
Tertiary Insc: verso: inscribed l.r, in pencil " 1983.3631".
Dimensions: plate-mark 40.0 h x 60.4 w cm sheet 57.6 h x 75.8 w cm
Acknowledgement: Purchased 1983
Accession No: NGA 83.3631
Subject: Art style: Photo-realism

Robert Bechtle’s Sunset Street 1982 exhibits a quality that seems to undermine its photorealist origins.  If the supreme achievement of photography is its capacity to fix the fleeting and the ephemeral forever, in Bechtle’s work, particularly his west-coast street-scenes and his automobile ‘portraits’, there is a sense of unearthly stillness – a feeling that the moment depicted is the same as the preceding moment, and the moment that preceded it will, in turn, be identical to the one that follows. Bechtle’s work has little to do with capturing the fleeting, and has, in fact, a lot to do with depicting the forever.

Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra