January 8, 2013

Winter Landscapes

        Here are two more woodcut winter landscapes before we all get tired of the snow.  I've chosen these two because I like the contrast between the angles of the one and the curves of the other.  Sometimes snow seems spiky and crisp, and other times more like a floppy pillow.
        The artist of the first scene is Konrad Zuse.  It turns out that Zuse is famous as a pioneer in the invention of computers.  I always like seeing all the people for whom art is just one facet of their personality, since one of my beliefs I'm always on about is that we shouldn't view the world as being divided into artists and non-artists.  There's no reason why a computer engineer can't be an artist.  In any case, in this particular piece I like the use of lines for the sky and sharp gouge-y shapes in the trees.
        By contrast, Peter Behrens's image, also a church-like building in the snow, has a very different look, all smooth curvy cuts.  Behrens, though also German, was a generation earlier.  It looks like Zuse used a v-gouge while Behrens used a u-gouge (at least in the foreground.)  I don't think the curvy lines up in the trees are as effective for the snow, but I do like the way it looks on the ground and the lower bushes.  The arches in the background are also appealingly mysterious.

[Pictures: Kirche im Winter (Church in Winter), woodcut by Konrad Zuse, 1945 (Image from Konrad Zuse Archive);
Winterlandschaft (Winter Landscape), woodcut by Peter Behrens, c. 1898 (Image from Spaightwood Galleries).]

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