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Inspiration Linocut Media Printmakers

Linocut Inspiration

See also post: Linocut Technique

Linocut uses a cheap, versatile material that gives possibilities for dynamic mark-making and bold shapes with simplified colour. It has been used by for many different types of prints including portraits, political works, landscapes and typography. It has been particularly popular as a medium for political protest, including the Russian Revolution and US Civil Rights movements.

Earlier artists applied many of the techniques earlier developed for woodcut – both markmaking and use of tone and structure. Some were influenced by Japanese woodcut traditions as well as Western wood engraving and African and Oceanic art.  Linocut artists from the Grosvenor School and Russian Revolution (see below) were influenced by major art movements of the twentieth century, particularly cubism, futurism and constructivism. Others developed new directions with Picasso’s use of the reduction linocut (that can also be done with any other surface like wood). Contemporary linocut artists used a wide variety of experimental techniques, using abrasive solutions as well as power tools to create a range of marks and tones.

Nineteenth century

Linoleum was invented in the early 1860s and first used for printing in 1890 in Germany for the manufacture of wallpaper.

Franz Ciceck, an Austrian artist and teacher was one of the first to popularise lino for artists’ prints. He recognised the medium’s potential to instruct children in colour and design: it was cheap, easily worked with simple tools, adaptable to water-based inks, and versatile. He toured Europe and North America with examples by his pupils and influenced art education worldwide.

Twentieth century

In the early 20th century linocut became very popular as an artistic medium.

German Expressionists  1905-1920s : The first major artist to adopt linocut as a medium was Erich Heckel, and his earliest linocut is dated 1903. Artists from Die Brucke regularly used linocut instead of woodcut from 1905 to 1920s. These focused on bold shapes and expressive distortion in monochrome prints. The use of lino was ideal for this, although the fine lines and use of woodgrain etxture in some of the woodcuts was not possible.

This German Expressionist tradition has been continued by modern artists like Georg Baselitz who produces very large linocuts and combination prints often on subjects of political protest.

Russian Revolution

In revolutionary Russia important linocuts were produced from about 1918.

Lyubov’ Popova  was a Russian avant-garde and ‘new woman’ artist (Cubist, Suprematist and Constructivist) painter and designer. She produced a number of linocuts in constructivist style.

Grosvenor School

The printmakers of the Grosvenor School (see C.S. Ackley, 2008) produced very dynamic linocuts with strong curvature distortion influenced by the Vorticist and Futurist movements. Key artists were:

The work of the Grosvenor School has also influenced some contemporary linocut artists like the Canadian Gary Ratushniak who was trained by Sybil Andrews draws also on native America traditions.

Edward Bawden

Edward Bawden is another English artist and illustrator who often worked in watercolour, but also produced many linocuts. His work is more figurative and many of his paintings are from his experience as war artist in the Second World War.

Matisse

Matisse produced 70 linocuts between 1938 and 1952. These are similar in both style and subject matter to his black and white monoprints of figures. They use a fluid expressive white-line technique that takes advantage of the variation in  line that can be achieved as linocut tools glide through the  the soft material..

Picasso

See S. Coppel, S. (1998)

Picasso used linoleum for popular posters in the early 1950s. In 1959 he began a series of innovative colour linocuts, developing the reduction print technique. He developed a method of printing in different colours progressive states cut on a single block, so that the finished print comprises layered impressions of all the states.

US Civil Rights Movement

Linocuts were very popular as effective and cheap media for mass communication by African American artists involved in the American Civil Rights movement. Influenced by both African and Mexican art they depicted images of racial and sexual issues. Key proponents were:

Contemporary linocut

Recently there has been a resurgence of interest in linocut as an art form. It is a key part of the many printmaking courses as an easier introduction to relief printing than woodcut. It has therefore become widely used for things like greetings cards. But there are also contemporary linocut artists doing innovative work – including very large pieces that exploit its potential for being cut into smaller blocks and because of its relatively light weight. There has been development of a wide range surface etching and texturing techniques using different tools.

Some of the sources I have looked at (in alphabetical order – unfortunately  websites for other artists I looked at were fleeting and disappeared  since I started the course).

  • Richard Bosman creates linocuts that are often very experimental in their use of different types of paper.
  • Helen Brown creates landscape linocuts from plates produced outdoors on site.
  • Lynda Burke creates dramatic monochrome landscapes with a variety of mark-making.
  • Angela Cavaglieri produces very large linocuts on rolls.
  • Katarzyna Cyganic manages to create very detailed and complex monochrome images using using reflections and reversals.
  • Rika Deryckere produces striking overlaid images on contemporary themes.
  • Geraldine Theurot creates imaginary narratives See Saatchi Art

Bibliography:

  • Ackley, C. S., (2008) British Prints from the Machine Age: Rhythms of Modern Life, London: Thames & Hudson Ltd.
  • Coppel, S., (1998) Picasso and Printmaking in Paris, London: South BGank Publishing.
  • D’arcy Hughes, A. & Vernon-Morris, H., (2008) The Printmaking Bible: the complete guide to materials and techniques, San Francisco: Chronicle Books.
  • Griffiths, A., (1980) Prints and Printmaking: An introduction to the history and techniques, London: British Museum Press.
  • Martin, J., (1993) The Encyclopedia of Printmaking Techniques, London: Quarto Publishing.
  • Stobart, J., (2001) Printmaking for Beginners, London: A&C Black.
  • Woods, L., (2011) The Printmaking Handbook: Simple techniques and step-by-step projects, London: Search Press.
  • Yeates, S., (2011) Learning Linocut: A comprehensive guide to the art of relief printing through linocut, Gamlingay, UK: Bright Pen.

Exhibition

British Museum

Recent acquisitions two sets of Picasso linocuts (10 January – 6 May 2014)

Categories
1: Landscape Abstract Inspiration Linocut Media Natural Printmakers Urban

Geraldine Theurot

Webpage and links: http://www.artsetter.com/member/gtheurot

Geraldine Theurot Street of San Francisco
Geraldine Theurot San Francisco, Sutter St
Geraldine Theurot San Francisco, Sutter St
Geraldine Theurot The Man
Geraldine Theurot The Man
Geraldine Theurot New York
Geraldine Theurot Brooklyn Birdge
Categories
1: Landscape Inspiration Linocut Media Natural Printmakers

Lynda Burke

Inspiration

Lynda Burke’s linocuts are mainly monochrome black and white. She has a strong sense of composition and design – using dramatic perspectives, grills and grids. With variety of markmaking and texturing in eg the skies. Some have hand-coloured splashes of red.

website

linocuts      landscapes  interiors and still life

Her work

Verduno, Italy   I like the vertical repetitions at the bottom here – is this a graveyard?

View from Long Wall Suffolk

Crazy Paving  I like the design of this from a simple subject.

Clissold Park  Interesting view through wire fence

Colombe d’Or, Vence this has an effective splash of red.

Terrace 1 Vence again I really like the bold composition of this with the railings of the terrace.

Tree in Woods

Bosham  here the marks for the mackerel sky I find effective together with the long format and rather bleak landscape.

Biography

Lynda Burke was born in London in 1950 and has lived and worked there most of her life, in recent years sharing her time between Camden and Vence in the south of France.

After a two-year Fine Arts Foundation Course at East Ham Technical College in London she studied Painting at Winchester School of Art – DipAD / BA(Hons) –  for three years under the guidance of established artists including Patrick Heron, graduating in 1972.

Throughout the 1970s, Lynda continued painting and print-making as well as raising a family. She regularly sold work privately and in solo exhibitions during the 1980s and 1990s, including commissions from The Distillers Company (now Diageo) and others. Her work is in private collections in England, France, United States, Japan, Singapore, Finland, Sweden, Switzerland and Italy.

Since the year 2000, Lynda has been an official guide at the original Tate Britain and the celebrated Tate Modern in London, leading regular tours around the vast galleries and bringing modern art to life for thousands of international visitors.

Since 2006 Lynda has been making art mainly in Vence, where she has also resumed an earlier interest in the medium of linocut prints, some of which can be seen on this site. As well as her Tate Modern tours in London she has also started a series of lectures on the famous artists of the Côte d’Azur.

Source: her website

Categories
2: Abstraction 4: Portrait Chine colle Inspiration Linocut Media Monoprint

Henri Matisse

Draw happiness from oneself, from a good day’s work, from the light it can bring to the fog which surrounds us. Think…”that was the best time”

Categories
2: Abstraction 3: Chiaroscuro 4: Portrait 5: Memory Etching Inspiration Linocut Lithograph Media Monoprint Printmakers Still Life

Pablo Picasso

To be further developed as I finish Assignments 3, 4 and 5.

Picasso’s work is a key influence in my printmaking, both stylistically and conceptually. I am particularly interested in his abstract work both that influenced by African art with its ferocious angularity that is also echoed in Guernica, and the fragmented light of the abstraction in analytic cubism ‘trying to communicate the perfume’ of an image. See particularly:

and forthcoming:

  • Assignment 4: Abstract Self Portrait (1932 paintings, cubism, portraits and lithographs) forthcoming
  • Assignment 5: From memory (influenced by Guernica) forthcoming

Painting isn’t an aesthetic operation; it’s a form of magic designed as a mediator between this strange, hostile world and us, a way of seizing the power by giving form to our terrors as well as our desires.(p11)

Painting is stronger than I am. It makes me do what it wants. (p70)

A picture is not thought out and settled beforehand. While it is being done it changes as one’s thoughts change. And when it is finished, it still goes on changing, according to the state of mind of whoever is looking at it. (p12)

References and Resources

  • Borchardt-Hume, A. and N. Ireson, Eds. (2018). Picasso 1932: The EY Exhibition. London, Tate Publishing.
  • Clark, H., Ed. (1993). Picasso: In His Words. San Francisco, Collins.
  • Cohen, J., Ed. (1995). Picasso: Inside the Image. London, Thames & Hudson.
    Coppel, S. (1998). Picasso and Printmaking in Paris. London, South Bank Publishing.
  • Cowling, E., N. Cox, S. Fraquelli, S. G. Galassi, C. Rigpelle and A. Robbins (2009). Picasso: Challenging the Past. London, National Gallery Pubications.
  • Eik Kahng, Charles Palermo, Harry Cooper, Annie Bourneuf, Christine Poggi, Claire Barry and B. J.C.Devolder (2011). Picasso and Braque: The Cubist Experiment 1910-1912. Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara Museum of Art.
  • Picasso (1980). Picasso: Lithographs. Toronto, Dover Publications.
  • Picasso (1981). Picasso: Line Drawings and Prints. Toronto, Dover Publications.
  • T.J.Clark (2013). Picasso and Truth: from Cubism to Guernica. Princeton and Oxford, Princeton University Press.

Picasso as artist

Picasso’s life and evolution of his style from:

    • Highly accomplished figurative drawings and paintings from boyhood to late teens
    • Blue period (1901–1904) influenced by the suicide of his close friend Carlos Casagemas
    • Rose period (1904–1906) during his early marriage and relationship
    • African influence (1907–1909), notably Les Demoiselles d’Avignon as a sudden leap to abstraction (see also Wikipedia overview of images from, this period)
    • Analytic cubism (1909–1912)
    • Synthetic Cubism (1912–1919), also referred to as the Crystal period.
    • Neoclassicism and surrealism (1919–1929)
    • The Great Depression to MoMA exhibition: 1930–1939 – the period of Guernica, his 1932 paintings of Marie-Thérèse Walter and the Vollard Suite etchings
    • Later works to final years: 1949–1973 combined elements of his earlier styles

    Overview: BBC Modern Masters Series by  Alastair Sooke

    Gives an overview of Picasso’s life and art and the way they influenced each other, and the influences that Picasso’s art still has for us today.

    Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, MoMA

    A detailed discussion of the origins and meaning of this painting.

    Exhibition Review: Exhibition Review : Picasso 1932 – Love, Fame, Tragedy at the Tate Modern 2018

    The Exhibition focuses on his numerous paintings in the one year of 1932, influenced by his relationship with Marie-Thérèse Walter. See catalogue:

    Borchardt-Hume, A. and N. Ireson, Eds. (2018). Picasso 1932: The EY Exhibition. London, Tate Publishing.

    Girl before a Mirror

    Discussion by a teacher of the ways in which the meanings of this painting are seen and explained to children.

    Picasso portraits at the National Gallery

    Looks in particular at multiple viewpoints and cubism.

    Guernica and attitudes to politics

    Picasso’s last paintings are very poignant, but not well received.

    Google Picasso drawings

    Picasso as printmaker

    Picasso (1881–1973)  made prints throughout his career – over 2,500 principally in etching, lithography and linocut, but also monoprints.

    Google Picasso monoprints

    Google Picasso lithograph

    The Vollard Suite at the British Museum (etchings)

  • Google Picasso etching

    Linocuts

    Invention of the reduction linocut

    His earliest linocut is from 1939, but his major period of working in this medium was from the mid-1950s to the early 1960s. During this time the artist resided mainly in the south of France, far removed from his collaborative involvement with the master printers in Paris where he had made his etchings and lithographs in the 1930s and 40s. He began by producing linocut posters for ceramic exhibitions and bullfighting events in Vallauris with the talented local printer Hidalgo Arnéra.

    Within a very short time Picasso was finding new ways of producing colour linocuts which dispensed with the orthodox method of cutting a separate block of linoleum for each colour.  He devised a method of progressively cutting and printing from a single block that required him to foresee the final result, as once he had gouged away the linoleum surface he could not go back.

    Linocuts Exhibition British Museum exhibition: 10 January – 6 May 2014

     Still Life under the Lamp (1962) depicts a still life of apples next to a glass goblet, brightly illuminated under a lampshade at night. The BM exhibition shows nine stages, beginning with a blank tabula rasa, Picasso progressively cut and printed the single block, gradually building the image with increasing complexity. At each stage the viewer sees an image that would appear finished but Picasso goes further, pursuing it to its final form. (See Google images)

    Jacqueline Reading (1962) a series consisting of four progressive proofs for a monochrome subject, Jacqueline Reading, Picasso’s second wife Jacqueline Roque with whom he lived in the last years of his life. She is posed reading, one hand held to her face and eyes cast down, locked in an interior world. For this print Picasso used two blocks. In the first block he scratched the surface with a stiff comb to describe the form of Jacqueline’s head and bust in tonal terms. A second block was cut with gouges to leave just her outline. Then the print from the second block was superimposed over the first to achieve the final image. (See Google images)

  • Other linocuts: Google Picasso linocut ;
  •  before the lance avant la pique 1959 1
  • Deux femmes près de la fenêtre, 1959
  • Danseurvet musicien  
  • Les Banderilles Like Cretan. Like the composition. How about the background?.
  • Trois femmes 1959
  • le vase de fleurs  
  • tete de femme de profil

Picasso lithographs: Google images

Picasso drypoint : Google Images

Painting technique: Cubist

MoMA painting techniques series has an interesting overview of how to draw multiple perspectives.

 

Categories
Inspiration Linocut Printmakers

Elizabeth Catlett

Elizabeth Catlett (1915-2012) was an African-American graphic artist and sculptor. She is best known for her depictions of the African-American experience in the 20th century, which often had the female experience as their focus. Her work is a mixture of abstract and figurative in the Modernist tradition, with influence from African and Mexican art traditions.

Google Elizabeth Catlett prints

Her work was influenced by the Harlem Renaissance movement and the Chicago Black Renaissance in the 1940s and reinforced in the 1960s and 1970s with the influence of the Black Power, Black Arts Movement and feminism. Catlett was more concerned in the social messages of her work than in pure aesthetics. “I have always wanted my art to service my people — to reflect us, to relate to us, to stimulate us, to make us aware of our potential.” She was a feminist and an activist before these movements took shape, pursuing a career in art despite segregation and the lack of female role models. “I don’t think art can change things,” Catlett said “I think writing can do more. But art can prepare people for change, it can be educational and persuasive in people’s thinking.”

Her printwork was mostly woodcuts and linocuts produced 1947-1966 with theTaller de Gráfica Popular,  a famous workshop in Mexico City dedicated to graphics arts promoting leftist political causes, social issues and education.   She and other artists created a series of linoleum cuts on prominent black figures as well as posters, leaflets, illustrations for textbooks and materials to promote literacy in Mexico. Her linocut series “The Black Woman Speaks,” is among the first graphic series in Western art to depict the image of the American black woman as a heroic and complex human being. Her posters of Harriet Tubman, Angela Davis, Malcolm X and other figures were widely distributed.

See also many other videos of interviews about her political role and life.

Categories
Inspiration Linocut Printmakers

Margaret Taylor-Burroughs

Margaret Taylor-Burroughs (1915 – 2010), also known as Margaret Taylor Goss, Margaret Taylor Goss Burroughs or Margaret T G Burroughs; was an African-American artist and writer, with her efforts directed toward the exploration of the Black experience and to children, especially to their appreciation of their cultural identity and to their introduction and growing awareness of art.

Many of here linocuts have become iconic images of the American Civil Rights movement. In many of Burroughs’ pieces, she depicts people with half black and half white faces.

Google Margaret Burroughs linocuts

In The Faces of My People Burroughs carved five people with different skin tones staring at the viewer. One of the women is all black, three of the people are half black and half white and one is mostly white. While Burroughs is attempting to blend together the black and white communities, she also shows the barriers that stop the communities from uniting. None of the people in The Faces of My People are looking at each other, and this implies a sense of disconnect among them.On another level, The Faces of My People deals with diversity. An article from the Collector magazine website describes Burroughs’ attempts to unify in the picture. The article says, “Burroughs sees her art as a catalyst for bringing people together. This tableau of diverse individuals illustrates her commitment to mutual respect and understanding”.

My People:  there are four different faces – each of which is half white and half black. The head on the far left is tilted to the side and close to the head next to it. It seems as both heads are coming out of the same body – taking the idea of split personalities to the extreme. The women are all very close together, suggesting that they relate to each other. My People focuses on a common conflict that all the women in the picture face.

Birthday Party: here both black and white children are seen celebrating. The black and white children are not isolated from each other; instead they are intermixed and mingling around the table together waiting for birthday cake. An article published by The Art Institute of Chicago described Burroughs’ Birthday Party and said, “Through her career, as both a visual artist and a writer, she has often chosen themes concerning family, community, and history. ‘Art is communication,’ she has said. ‘I wish my art to speak not only for my people – but for all humanity.’ This aim is achieved in Birthday Party, in which both black and white children dance, while mothers cut cake in a quintessential image of neighbors and family enjoying a special day together”.

She also helped to establish many art establishments and opportunities for artists promoting civil rights.

She helped found the South Side Community Arts Center in 1939 to serve as a social center, gallery, and studio to showcase African American artists.

She is credited with the founding of Chicago’s Lake Meadows Art Fair in the early 1950s. At its inception there were very limited venues and galleries for African American Artists to exhibit and sell their artwork, so she launched the Fair, which rapidly grew in popularity and became one of the most anticipated exhibitions for artists, collectors and others throughout the greater Chicago area. After a brief hiatus beginning in the early 1980s, it was resurrected by Helen Y. West in 2005 – and another of Margaret Burroughs’ legacies lives on.

Margaret and her husband Charles co-founded what is now called the DuSable Museum of African American History in Chicago in 1961. The institution was originally known as the Ebony Museum of Negro History and Art and made its debut in the living room of their house at 3806 S. Michigan Avenue in the Bronzeville neighborhood on Chicago’s south side, and Taylor-Burroughs served as its executive director for the first ten years of its existence. She was proud of the institution’s grass-roots beginnings: “we’re the only one that grew out of the indigenous Black community. We weren’t started by anybody downtown; we were started by ordinary folks.”Burroughs served as Executive Director until 1984 and was then named Director Emeritus, remaining active in the museum’s operations and fundraising efforts.

Burroughs was impacted by Harriet Tubman, Gerard L. Lew, Sojourner Truth, Frederick Douglass, and W.E.B. Du Bois.

See also the many You Tube videos on her legacy to the Civil Rights movement, interviews with her before her death and reading her poetry.

Categories
5: Memory Inspiration Linocut Media Printmakers

Sybil Andrews

Sybil Andrews (19 April 1898 – 21 December 1992) was an English printmaker best known for her modernist linocuts portraying the energy and excitement of urban life. Together with her  informal partner Cyril Power she helped in the establishment and became the first secretary (1925–1928) of the The Grosvenor School of Modern Art.

Her linocuts are a key source of inspiration for my linocuts in Project 5.1: Grand Arcade

List of works

For more see: Google images

References:

Clifford S Ackley ed British Prints from the Machine Age: Rhythms of Modern Life 1914-1947 Thames and Hudson 2008

Wikipedia