On Thursday, May 9, some of Three Bone’s Society Founder Eric K. Lerner’s intaglio work for the 1917 Tarot Deck will be featured at “Making an Impression,” at the Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, Martino Gallery, 801 Chase Street with a reception between 5:30 and 7:30 pm. It marks the first time any of Lerner’s work for the well-received exhibitions and tarot deck from Silhouette Publishers will be shown publicly in the United States. The images from the deck were previously exhibited in St. Petersburg and Madrid.
Lerner will be showing a drypoint for the 8 of Bayonets, Interference, done with a la poupee inking.
Lerner wrote of the image:
The Eight of Bayonets corresponds to the Eight of Swords in traditional tarot. It begins perhaps the most dire predictive trio in tarot (the 8 through 10 of Swords). In Tarot 1917, it portrays the execution of a Red Army or White Guards soldier. In this drypoint, the victims are deliberately confused. The irony of the likely Red Guard soldier holding a orthodox cross at the moment of his death is intentional. Called “Lord of Shortened Force” in the Golden Dawn tradition and “Interference: by Crowley, its meanings include blame, treachery, too much attention to detail at the expense of morality, and succumbing to often conflicting external influencers. In the case of the Russian Civil War, one must ask just how much did the soldiers (both sides of which were guilty of numerous atrocities) really grasp of the causes for which they fought that lead to them killing others and even sacrificing their own lives. In modern times, the Eight of Bayonets begs us to reason for ourselves how media, peer groups, political and religious doctrines influence our individual actions? Do we really grasp the ramifications of their values versus our own interests? Does being swayed by them mean we are doing right by others and ourselves?
The other drypoint in the exhibit is a drypoint used as one of three plates that composed the 9 of Bayonets, the Lord of Cruelty and Despair. “It’s interesting to give a peek under the hood what goes into composing a final etching. In looking at it, it fits nicely with the other drypoint, even though it is just a component of the final image.”
According to Lerner:
The Nine of Bayonets depicts a prisoner trapped in a van not knowing if he faces imminent execution. The nine rays of light made by bullet holes that have pierced the walls nine bayonets or swords. The Golden Dawn titled the Nine of Swords “Lord of Cruelty and Despair.” Traditional meanings include despair, cruelty, loss and misery. There is a suggestion that the subject is either unable or unwilling to throw off his burden (in this etching - shackles). Traditionally, the recommended remedy is patience, perseverance. However, in times of war, how many victims were ever and will ever be given that option? Nowadays, the Nine of bayonets challenges us to bravely try to perceive light even when in the face of tragedy in order to navigate through it.
If you are local, this is an excellent opportunity to see Lerner and other talented intaglio printmakers’ works first hand. Etchings in particular need to be appreciated first-hand. Their subtley, range of mark-making and textures cannot easily be conveyed by photographs. Also check out Thomas van der Krogt’s drypoints that we offer for sale at Three Bones Society.