Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Print of the day

I visited Gloss gallery in Exeter today, which is a sizable commercial gallery tucked away 2 minutes from where I work in town. Marc Chagall's "Paradise" from the Jerusalem windows of 1962 was my favourite print that I saw today. The extensive range of Lithographs and etchings on show spanned a number of decades which Chagall created during his lengthy career. I have always admired Chagall's work for his ability to blend religious iconograhy with folk imagery whilst adding fantastical colour into the mix.

Born a Russian Jew, he moved to France to develop his artistic style. Chagall did not wish to associate himself with a particular movement, however his work (certainly influenced by Cubism and Fauvism) went on to inspire the Surrealists. His work had it's own unique vocabulary and reminds me in many ways of the work of William Blake, with his natural depiction of Christian messages.

Obviously, the Nazi's didn't like him very much, even though only a few years earlier, his work had been heralded in Germany. He was extradited to America just in time, and had a lifetime of success.

I enjoyed this print particularrly because it shows muted tones uncommon in most of Chagall's work. This is a side of him I had never seen before today. I also personally find the trope of a woman with red hair cast as the sinner a time-withstanding one and always have a chuckle to myself when I see it.

I am working on a series of prints at the moment based on my own favourite folk tale. It is early days, but here is a picture of a few sketches I did today for it. They will be linos with a few colours.

I will be illustrating the Hans Christian Anderson story of "The Wild Swans". It is something I have been dying to do for a while, and I am looking forward to getting stuck into the project.

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