Images from Wood, A Thirty Year Survey - May 16 - June 27, 2015
"Aline Feldman: Images from Wood, a 30 Year Survey" looks back on an amazing career of a celebrated, award winning artist. Now 87 years old, Aline Feldman is still going strong, working daily in her studio. She is well known as a master of the white line woodcut medium. This exhibition begins with her very large scale prints from the mid 1980's, which rival the size of paintings, and concludes with more intimate scale images from a series begun last year. The artist has been represented by the Marsha Mateyka Gallery since 1988. A catalogue will accompany this exhibition.
Aline Feldman prints with watercolor from a single block of wood to create woodcuts of city views and landscapes using expressive color and exuberant forms. Her prints are often panoramic, aerial views. This perspective flattens her images, which are based on actual places, and frees her to follow abstract shapes, patterns, dynamic rhythms, and color contrasts. This exhibition includes an outstanding example of this early style, "Afternoon Sonata" (1988), a 4 part woodcut measuring 64 x 96 inches.
"Synthesizing elements from an array of influences, Aline Feldman forged a distinctive vision and method for color woodcuts....In 1946 Feldman studied art at Washington University in Saint Louis. She was too young to study with Max Beckman, the eminence grise of the art department but her early paintings and prints were influenced by his style. Her most influential teacher was Werner Drewes, who conveyed to his students the essential role of art in everyday life. She learned the techniques of intaglio printmaking from Fred Becker who brought his own mentor, Stanley William Hayter into class to speak to students about engraving."*
"By 1965 she became interested in the white line woodcut technique of the Provincetown printmakers. Their use of multiple color applications and one board appealed to Feldman and she began a period of experimentation based on the synthesis of the Provincetown techniques and traditional Japanese methods. The personalized approach coalesced into the white line woodcut technique she uses today."**
Aline Feldman's prints are in numerous museum collections including Nelson-Akins Museum of Art, McNay Art Museum, Honolulu Academy of Art, Santa Barbara Museum and in Washington DC; Smithsonian Museum of American Art, National Museum of Women in the Arts and Library of Congress.
*Acton, David, "60 Years of North American Prints, 1947-2007," published by The Boston Printmakers, MA, 2009, p.140.
** Arnold, Dr. Karen L., "Perspective, Place, Prints: The World of Artist Aline Feldman" p.2.
Aline Feldman, Rainheld City, 1997. woodcut
39 x 28 3/4" Photo Courtesy of the Art Complex
Museum Duxbury, MAThe Boston University Art Gallery (BUAG) will host an exhibition to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of The Boston Printmakers, February 9 - April 1, 2007. The exhibition will highlight the work of local, national and international printmakers, as well as educate the public about the field of printmaking since 1947. To mark the opening of the exhibition, a reception was held at the gallery on February 8.
Aline Feldman studied art at Washington University in St. Louis, where among her notable teachers were Werner Drewes, Fred Becker, and a visiting Stanley William Hayter. During graduate school at Indiana University, Bloomington, Feldman studied Seong Moy.
All of these artists are great printmakers in addition to their work in other media. For Feldman, prints, it seems, were an inevitability. But an early desire to focus on painting led the artist to a unique solution: white-line woodcuts applied with brushes and watercolor allowing for a range of colors, shapes and forms. Together these elements allow the artist to convey the energy, movement, and life that are the heart of her art.
From her schooling, Feldman gained proficiency in Western methods of woodcut. But her mature style takes a bit of the Western method adds a bit of Japanese methodology, and a bit of white -line woodcutting to a body of work that explores nature in all its glory, in all kinds of weather and times of day.
In the early 1960s Feldman and her husband, Arnold, moved to the Washington, D.C. area, where she met Japanese master printmaker Unichi Hiratsuka at a Georgetown gallery specializing in 20th century Japanese woodblock prints. With him Feldman learned the art of multiple block printing in colors. Finding this technique limiting, Feldman added the white-line method of woodcuts, which had been popularized by the Provincetown printmakers at the beginning of the 20th century.
A voracious visual person, Feldman has lots of images floating around in her mind. She also has an extensive archive of sketchbooks and photographs taken from above in hired Cessna. Sometimes ideas percolate for a year or more before she makes a large-scale preliminary drawing, working out the composition. Tracing the image on a piece of thin tissue paper, Feldman glues it to a piece of wood, carves the design, and washes off the tissue. Laying a piece of Okawara paper over the image, Feldman anchors the sheet using river rocks. Flipping the paper back, watercolor paint is brushed onto one section of the woodblock at a time. The paper is laid down over the colored area and Feldman uses a baren to burnish the back of the paper causing the color to transfer from the wood to the paper. The step is repeated several times to get the density of the color desired.
Anne Shafer, Assistant Curator of Prints, Drawings and Photographs, Baltimore Museum of Art, MD