N.p. N.p., 1968. Two-color ink drawing of Charlie Chaplin in silhouette, titled "Chaplin a' la Vigo's 'Zero de conduit'" by noted radical caricaturist Robert Osborn. The title makes reference to French filmmaker Jean Vigo's 1933 film, "Zero de conduite," and the drawing, unpublished, was a gift to Osborn's friend Amos Vogel, inscribed at the bottom left corner, "For Amos / 68."
Accompanying the drawing is a 3-page note from Osborn to Vogel, executed in calligraphic style black ink, reading: "dear Amos / this, in gratitude for all you do for us. It is vastly appreciated. / Bob Osborn / 2 / P.S. / As I told you you do the whole cultural community a GREAT service / Take "Fairy Tale" - I'd never have seen it save for you. / Also that good Sue Salter has been VERY helpful.... & cheerful!"
One of Osborn's last great exhibitions was devoted to Chaplin. Reviewing that show in The New York Times, art critic John Russell wrote: "Few people have a nimbler, wittier or more versatile way with pen and pencil than Robert Osborn."
Osborn (1904-1994) was nothing if not the artist's artist. The New York Times obituary for him noted that his "sardonic and often savage drawings in books and magazines have arrested readers with their images of bloated power, violence and death. At the same time, he could be wittily ironic about society's pretensions, spoofing subjects like psychiatry, suburbanites and social climbing." He characterized himself as "a drawer" whose figures "seemed to come right out of my subconscious." Garry Trudeau called him "one of the very few masters of illustrative cartooning." Robert Motherwell wrote that his drawings were "so alive that they seemed to writhe on the page with an uninhibited energy .... Osborn's art is a call to responsible action." Motherwell was among those who compared Osborn's graphic work to that of Daumier, Goya, Saul Steinberg, as well as to the sculpture of Alexander Calder, who was a friend of Osborn's.
Amos Vogel (1921-2012) was one of the most influential cineastes in New York City. He is best known for his bestselling book "Film as a Subversive Art" (1974) and as the founder of the New York City avantgarde cine-club Cinema 16 (1947–1963), where he was the first programmer to present films by Roman Polanski, John Cassavetes, Nagisa Oshima, Jacques Rivette and Alain Resnais as well as early and important screenings by American avant-gardists of the time like Stan Brakhage, Maya Deren, James Broughton, Kenneth Anger, Sidney Peterson, Bruce Conner, Carmen D'Avino and many others. In 1963, together with Richard Roud, he founded the New York Film Festival, and served as its program director until 1968. In 1973, Vogel started the Annenberg Cinematheque at the University of Pennsylvania and was eventually given a Chair for film studies at the Annenberg School for Communication, where he taught and lectured for two decades.
Chaplin drawing 15 x 11 inches, right edge uncut. Calligraphic letter, 3 sheets, each 8.5 x 11. All items Near Fine.