IDBURY PRINTS

NORMAN RUBINGTON (American / 1921-1991)

Norman Rubington studied at Yale before serving in WWII as a mapmaker. After the war he went to Paris, supported by his GI loan, to become an artist. There, Norman Rubington became a central figure of the group of existentialist ex-pats centered around the Paris Revue and Merlin, who included Alexander Trocchi, Richard Seaver, and Christopher Logue. Like others in this group, Rubington supplied erotic fiction to the Olympia Press list, writing under the pseudonym Akbar del Piombo. Some of these novels were illustrated by Rubington with collages in the manner of Max Ernst's Une semaine de bonté. At the same time, Rubington was establishing a successful career as a serious artist. He competed for and won the prestigious Prix de Rome, subsequently spending three years in that city. He also won the Guggenheim and Tiffany Awards, and the Religious Arts Award for his work in churches, including a Crucifixion in the Grace Cathedral, San Francisco. Rubington returned to the USA in the late 1960s. According to a note Rubington supplied for an exhibition of his etchings at the Palazzo Sormani in Milan in 1986, all of Norman Rubington’s etchings date from his Paris years in the 1950s. These Parisian years were vital to his artistic development. One French art critic, signing himself P. D., hailed Rubington’s solo show at Galerie 8 in 1950 as an astonishing success. Norman Rubington’s art, he wrote, was “burning with a new flame”. There is a vivid picture of Rubington in Paris in Joseph A. Barry's Left Bank Right Bank (1952). Barry writes: “When I first met Rubington, I found him in a room on the ground floor, directly behind a fish shop of Rue Henri Barbusse off Boulevard St. Michel. He had knocked out a wall, put in glass panes, a wood-burning stove, a box-bed, a dog, an easel, some canvases, and had begun to work. There were no toilet facilities and he had to get all his water from the fish shop.” Very few of the etchings seem to have been formally editioned; most likely Rubington simply pulled a few proofs for his own satisfaction; almost all of our copies are artist's proofs from the artist's estate. There was a retrospective at the Berman Museum of Art in 2005, Norman Rubington: Full Circle. In March 2010 there was another Norman Rubington retrospective at the Melvin Art Gallery, Florida Southern College.

See also:

BERNARD BUFFET
ANDRE MINAUX
ROGER MONTANE

Selected prints by NORMAN RUBINGTON

Naked couple, 1950s
Etching/aquatint
Crucifixion with
male onlooker, 1951
Etching/aquatint •SOLD
Le matin suit le
matin, 1950
Etching/aquatint

View all available prints by NORMAN RUBINGTON