Vik clearly had a taste for dramatic natural scenery and dramatic, elegant architecture. Many of his pieces feature beams of light, whooshes of wind or cloud, and other quite melodramatic effects. But I’ve chosen to begin with a peaceful scene. I like the level of detail and realism: all sorts of details and textures, but not trying to be entirely photorealistic. I see four color blocks in this one, with relatively little of the white paper still showing through after all those layers of ink.
I’ve included this scene of a mountain stream as a representative piece with only one, black block. It’s much simpler than many of Vik’s pieces, with less texture and more undifferentiated black. I’m not quite pleased with the lines depicting the foaming water, but I very much like the skill and economy of the tree trunks. I’m also interested to see the areas, especially on the right, where the ink hasn’t printed completely dense. This is the case with so many of my prints, but relatively few of those printed in professional print shops. I don’t know whether Vik printed his own editions or not.
[Pictures: Most na hrad Valdštýn, color woodcut by Karel Vik, 1930 (Image from Galerie09);
Church of St Nicholas with Místodržitelský Palace in Brno, color woodcut by Vik, 1928 (Image from Mutual Art);
Courtyard of Renaissance Chateau in Slovakia, color woodcut by Vik, 1932 (Image from Mutual Art);
Mountain River, woodcut by Vik (Image from Mutual Art);
Zvonice v Rovensku pod Troskami, color woodcut by Karel Vik, 1929 (Image from Galerie09).]