Sunday, February 3, 2013

A Dedicated Woodcut Artist

Karen Kunc is an artist living in Nebraska who has been making prints and artist's books for more than 25 years. Her chief medium is woodcut, which she combines occasionally with other media to create these striking, beautifully coloured images that are derived from natural forms but developed into her own personal abstract language.


Whether in book or as an editioned print, her work always has a balance of multiple elements within the picture space, small shapes overlaid with larger shapes, geometric forms and organic forms, straight marks against flowing marks. Sometimes she inks all the colours on one block, and at other times (I'm guessing) she makes an image by overprinting two or more woodblocks.

Her books are true exemplars of the form, particularly the accordion fold:



I've known about her work for a long time, but recently I saw one of her books again in The Book as Art, which a friend lent to me. If you go to her website, you'll see hundreds of pictures of her work, and very little pure repetition. Looking at her prints reminds me that great results can come from the combination of essentially simple elements.


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