August 12, 2011

Animals of Norbertine von Bresslern-Roth

        Here's another artist with some great relief prints.  Norbertine von Bresslern-Roth (1891-1978, Austria) was one of a group of artists who depicted mostly animals.  Her animals combine realism with a modernist aesthetic.  She often showed multiple creatures grouped in graphic patterns, or with dramatic poses on semi-abstract backgrounds.

        In this example the chameleons are artfully posed and wonderfully stylish.  They clearly share their fashion sense with Erté.

        I really like this four-block lion.  I love that I can see the edges of the ink (especially on the cloud shapes), which gives more of a sense of the carved blocks behind the picture.   From my vantage point behind the lion, I get a feeling that I'm seeing the same thing he's seeing as he gazes out across his kingdom.  It makes me feel more connected with the lion.
        These baboons are a little more abstract, so that they make a graphic pattern with their shapes.  The three at the top overlapping each other almost blend together into a single variegated shape.  I'm afraid that I'm too literal-minded and too tentative to make patterns like that, without a clear differentiation between one object and the next, so I like to see how other artists manage it.
        Finally, I include this little lion cub because it's the only example I found on-line of a simple black and white piece.  Bresslern-Roth primarily did the multi-block multi-color relief prints, but you can see that she can handle black and white, too!

        (Thanks to Martha Knox, by the way.  It was her blog post "Zwei Tiger" that drew my attention to Bresslern-Roth a few months ago.)

[Pictures: Chameleons, color woodcut by Norbertine von Bresslern-Roth, c.1925 (image from Josef Lebovic Gallery);
Lion, color linocut by Bresslern-Roth, 1928 (image from The Annex Galleries);
Baboons, color linocut by Bresslern-Roth, 1924 (image from Paramour Fine Arts);
Young Lion, woodcut by Bresslern-Roth, c. 1926 (image from Bridget McDonnell Gallery).]


Pax said...

Thanks again, Anne, for introducing me to yet another graphic artist with whom I was unfamiliar. Four prints, four rather different styles, each attractive in its own way.

Anonymous said...

Reindeer Herd or Rentierherde Norbertine von BresslernRoth