This week I was fortunate to see three exhibitions in one venue: the Pallant House Gallery in Chichester. I had arranged to meet a friend there to see two exhibitions - the Pasmore and the Nolan - but the bonus for me was the display of woodcut prints which I had time to visit before my friend arrived.
Vanessa Bell: String Quartet (image from here)
The display covered quite a range of styles which I enjoyed perusing. Durer's work is always a delight, and it was interesting seeing Vanessa Bell's illustration work, as I was not so familiar with her prints.
Ben Nicholson: Five Circles (image from here)
Of the abstracts, two artists' work was intriguing: Ben Nicholson I did not expect to see at all, and indeed it turns out that this is most likely the only woodcut he executed. I love the way that the grain of the wood fits his minimal style so well. What a pity he did not do more.
Salter's work also fascinates me - it always strikes me that she is trying to make pieces which look as much unlike woodcut as possible. The two on show here are like fine woven cloth.
Such a contrast with the work of Emma Stibbon which is pure drama in landscape.
I was pleased to see a couple of 'usual suspects': Hiroshige and a homage to Stanley Hayter by John Buckland-Wright. But was thoroughly delighted finally to see Nana Shiomi's work close to - having previously admired it online only. Of the prints from 100 views of Mitate, it was No88 Great Buddha which appealed to me - shown below.
But the work which inspired me most was not a woodcut at all. It was in the gallery/café space outside the print room: Hughie O'Donoghue's Three Studies for a Crucifixion II - magnificent carborundum prints, illustrated at the top of this post.