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Object Record

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Artist Todd, Jr., James G.
Nationality or Tribal Affiliation American
Title Jose Posada and Friends
Type of Object Print
Date 1993
Medium Wood Engraving
Edition 3/HP
Dimensions H-30.3 W-40.5 cm
Dimension Details mat: 48.9 x 57.2 cm
Collection Missoula Art Museum Collection
How acquired Purchase, Juliet Gregory Memorial Fund, 1995
Object ID 1995.09.06
Statement about this object "This series of portraits of printmakers was begun in 1991, and completed in 1994. All of the prints are wood engravings executed on end grain maple.

"This series is chronological, and is intended to be an homage to the printmakers as well as being my own study of their techniques of artistic expression. With the exception of Posada, Picasso and Goya, all of the artists are Northern Europeans, which is also my ethnic heritage. The evolution of modern printmaking is linked to the history of Northern Europe since it was there that its development led to the invention of photography in the nineteenth century.

"The printmakers were chosen on the basis of their special contributions to the evolution of fine art printmaking. With each portrait, I have included a detail from one of their prints which I believe characterizes some aspect of their personality.

"The prints presented in this exhibition are wood engravings. The wood engraving is a technique of wood relief printmaking developed by the Englishman Thomas Bewick in the late eighteenth century. The technique requires cutting directly into the surface of a finely sanded block of end-grain wood. The cutting is done with extremely fine and delicate lines, which can be almost luminous in the finished print.

"The printing method is a relief technique. When the cutting is complete, the surface of the block is inked; the uncut areas then print as black, while the cut areas remain white. cutting sometimes involves several stages, and printing paper is pressed on the inked surface by hand or machine for the finished impression. The prints in this series have been hand burnished.

"The simplicity and directness of the technique pose the biggest challenge to the creativity of the wood engraver. In developing his or her own mode of expression, engravers find that variation in cutting is limited, whereas engraving and inconsistencies are not easily repaired, and can be conspicuous in the finished print.

Jose Pasada (1851-1913) Posada in his engravings and lithographs produced images and news events for the instruction of the poor and illiterate. In this respect, his art stayed within the tradition of ancient Catholicism while linking it with modern socialism. In the tradition of medieval Catholicism, he reminds us of the omnipresence of death - but with the zany humor of Mexcian folk artists."

Jim Todd, October 1994
Portraits of Printmakers brochure
Classification Art/Figurative
Subjects Artists
Bicycles & tricycles
Parades & processions
People Posada, Jose