March 27, 2017

Block Printmaker Cook

        There’s a definite Art Deco feel to the work of Howard Norton Cook (USA, 1901-1980).  Check out the smooth geometry, dramatic lighting, and swooping perspectives of these pieces.  They even represent Art Deco’s twin attractions to the glamour of ancient empires and the sleek power of modernism.
        These are wood engravings, carved with very fine, precise lines rather than rough gouges, and the careful crosshatching and variety of textures of the miniature fields is particularly impressive.  I love the punches of pure white on the airplane and roads, but I also love how the darkness of the pueblo, with no white at all, evokes moonlight.  I don’t know whether the dark paper was always this dark - whether Cook chose a dark beige paper, or whether it’s darkened with age.  In any case, I think it looks good this way.

        See more C artists with these links:

[Pictures: Airplane, wood engraving by Howard Norton Cook, 1931;
Taos Pueblo, Moonlight, wood engraving by Cook, 1927 (Images from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston).]

A-Z Challenge, all posts for the letter C


coach-daddy said...

What incredible work. I could just stare at the detail for hours. I had the urge to take a small square of either piece and just attempt to sketch it.


#AtoZChallenge: C is for Cat

Sharon Himsl said...

This is really interesting, as I know very little about block printing. Of course you got my interest with the airplane. My husband is a private pilot and it's all about flying and writing (me) in my home. I hope you plan to include some of your own creations.

"Female Scientists Before Our Time"

PJ said...

These are incredible - I tried block carving years ago and it's not very easy so these must have taken a long time and a lot of patience. Thanks for sharing.
Pamela @ Highlands Days of Fun

Unknown said...

I love the image of the plane flying over the fields - beautiful.
Ros from Fangirl Stitches

Anne E.G. Nydam said...

Thanks! No, I don't intend to be one of the 26 for the month, but if you're curious to see my own work, check out my web site