THEN & NOW: FIVE CENTURIES OF WOODCUTS
Fine Arts Gallery (Vanderbilt University) / 1220 21st Ave. S. January 10 - March 1st
Surveying artworks created over multiple continents and 500 years, Then & Now: Five Centuries of Woodcuts spotlights more than forty prints from Vanderbilt’s collection. Together, these works speak to the arresting potential of the woodcut medium and its persistent place in contemporary art. Beginning with a print made in 1491 by Michael Wolgemut, the exhibition presents works including: a sixteenth-century example by the medium’s Northern Renaissance master Albrecht Dürer; a rare, large-scale volume of The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer, published with magnificent engraved illustrations by Edward Burne-Jones in 1896; stark images made by German Expressionists Gerhard Marcks and Conrad Felixmüller in the wake of WWI; and an animated woodcut film, produced in recent years by contemporary artist Jay Bolotin.
A concurrent presentation of works in Gallery 2, curated by Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery Intern Echo Sun (art and psychology major, Class of 2020), focuses on Japanese woodblock prints from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. This companion presentation to Then & Now: Five Centuries of Woodcuts includes editions by artists Katsushika Hokusai, Utagawa Hiroshige, Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, Kiyoshi Saito, and Takahashi Hiroaki (Shotei), among others.
Then & Now: Five Centuries of Woodcuts has been created and organized by Fine Arts Gallery Director Joseph Mella. The gallery extends special thanks to intern Echo Sun for her research and selection of Japanese woodblock prints, as well as to the Jean & Alexander Heard Library, Special Collections and Archives, for their loan of The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer, 1896.