“Studio with Rocking Chair” A Woodcut

Jun 28, 2017

"Studio with Rocking Chair", November, 2017, Woodcut, 21x24cm

Woodcut (Xylography)

 

I’m attracted to the woodcut  for its  physicality, material presence, and rich history. It is the oldest form of relief printing and was used from the start to communicate with large numbers of people. So it has a democratic, non-elitist origin. In a sense, imagine it as an early ancestor ot the internet. And then there were the aesthetic benefits. Maybe you didn’t have the money to buy a painting or an illuminated manuscript, but you could buy a woodcut as a devotional image or just to decorate the home. I’m very fond of the ancient Chinese and Japanese woodcuts, they were the first and arguably the best. However, I most relate to those created in Europe at the beginning of the 15th century by the German woodblock cutters or “formschneider” working mostly in Germany and northern Italy. They lack the refinement which those of the later period have, but they have a raw, expressive power which I strongly identify with and usually prefer in art.

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