The Relief Print

Gravity by Shinsuke Minegushi, woodcut & wood engraving, 30 cm x 81 cm., 2000

An exhibition of relief prints is now up at the Burnaby Art Gallery. From the website:

The Relief Print 
October 24-November 26
This exhibition of woodcuts, wood engravings and linocuts culls rarely displayed treasures from the extensive collection of the City of Burnaby Permanent Art Collection and SFU’s Malaspina Archives.

Also, five invited artists, each with a distinct style and purpose, show that this old, assertive art form has lost none of its appeal, to both creators and viewers. Shinsuke Minegishi’s elegantly combined woodcuts and engravings detail nature’s minutiae and a structured balance of Eastern and Western aesthetics. Jim Rimmer’s linocuts, boldly and honestly complementing his limited edition books with custom-designed type, forge an unbroken link back to Gutenberg. Graham Scholes, luminous, intricate Moku Hanga woodblocks depict BC’s disappearing lighthouses in a careful and caring achievement of historic and aesthetic value. Richard Tetrault’s linos and woodcuts of the Downtown Eastside meld socio/political concerns and activism with sheer visual beauty and a muralist’s power. Raymond Verdaguer’s linocut newspaper and magazine illustrations deliver small packages with immense impact, letting creativity loose under severe constraints.

An attractive colour brochure accompanies the exhibition, which is guest curated by Susan Gransby. Here are some quotes from her essay:

Unlike other forms of printmaking, which fascinate with their mysterious processes and often complex results, the relief print’s limitations are its strength. there is nowhere to hide in a woodcut, wood engraving or linocut.

There is something elemental and instinctive about scratching, gouging, cutting away at material, whether a cave wall, a school desk, a cut potato….

Do not confuse this with simplicity. Relief printing demands disciplined draughtsmanship…

November 2, 2006 in Art Exhibitions, Other artists, Printmaking by Marja-Leena