American Masters of the Woodcut

An abstract print of four boats composed of brightly colored shapes outlined in white.
March 29–October 12, 2003
Second floor

The woodcut might have lapsed into obscurity had artists not rediscovered its creative potential during the last decades of the 19th century. By exploring its possibilities and challenging its conventions, adventurous printmakers discovered a pliant medium capable of bold, new forms of artistic expression. American artists, no less than their European counterparts, produced individual prints of stunning originality and infinite variety. And they also revitalized the medium’s validity for modern book illustration.

Relief printmaking, which includes woodcuts, wood-engravings, and linocuts, appeals to artists who savor the physical sensations of carving and enjoy the aesthetic revelations of wood grain. Its simplicity offers printmakers complete control over the creative process, letting them execute and print their designs themselves. This exhibition presents a survey of the resurgence of relief printmaking in America, when artists of varying sensibilities revitalized the medium, transforming it from a commercial enterprise into a lively art form well suited to accommodate a highly personal and experimental approach to graphic expression.

Installation Photos

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Organized by the Amon Carter Museum of American Art