Edition of 40
18-colour woodblock print on Japan MM7 Kozo paper
42.4 x 43.4 cm | 16 11/16 X 17 1/16 in.
Signed and numbered
Published by White Cube, 2007
Made in an edition of only 40, this work marks Ellen Altfest’s first exploration into the medium of printmaking. Based on the painting of the same title, Green Gourd (2007) recreates the highly detailed painted image in an equally detailed and masterful technique – that of the Japanese style woodblock print.
Altfest’s subjects are observed from life rather than photographic images. The prolonged study and intense looking involved in their making gives the subject an otherworldly presence, raising the humble, organic form of the gourd into a palpable icon. Printed by hand using the Japanese Ukiyo-e style, from nine blocks, using 18 colours, in 17 printing steps, the print mimics the precision of the original painting at 1:1 scale in a mesmerising and delicate manner.
As the critic David Humphrey said of her work: ‘Ellen Altfest asks us to slow down, to crawl to feel our way across the variegated surfaces of her depicted objects until we experience them as materialised hallucinations.’
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