March 22, 2017

Block Printmaker Abbe

        Elfriede Abbe (USA, 1919-2012) was a sculptor as well as a printmaker.  She also printed entire books on her printing press.  She observed, “Cutting designs directly in a wood block seems to lend itself to a sense of affinity with objects of nature, landscape, and countryside.”
        Here are two pieces by Abbe, I assume from an entire series on the days of creation.  The Fifth Day, with creatures of the seas and air, is especially interesting.  Most obviously it’s unusual for being printed on marbled paper.  This is an artist’s proof, so I don’t know whether Abbe made her entire edition on this paper, or was just experimenting.  I’m sure she was thinking the watery paper might go well with the watery image.  I think it’s cool, but distracts a bit from the details, which are quite interesting, too.  For example, look how the ray overlaps the fish, jellyfish, squid, and other things around it.  There’s a lot of movement in the composition, as compared with the land animals, which are much more static.



       In addition to Abbe, I’ve featured plenty of other A printmakers in the past.  Follow these links to see:


[Pictures: Genesis I.21, block print by Elfriede Abbe (Image from Flickr);
Sixth Day, block print by Abbe (Image from Flickr).]


A-Z Challenge, all posts for the letter A

4 comments:

  1. This is simply amazing and nothing like I've ever seen before. I agree about the marbling - just a shame it couldn't have been restriced to the borders!

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  2. Gorgeous! I've never seen a print like it, I love screen and block prints. http://www.lizbrownleepoet.com I'm doing Extraordinary Women - you'll need to turn off the thing that isn't allowing live links to be posted on your blog, as that is the point of the A-Z!

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  3. Hmmm... As far as I can tell, I have links allowed in the comments... But thanks for adding yours anyway. I hope it sends some people your way!

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