Kayakers by George Johanson

  • Title: Kayakers
  • Artist: George Johanson
  • Medium: Colored woodcut
  • Size: 14"h x 18"w
  • Added to collection: 2008
  • Donor: Gift of the artist
  • Campus: Rock Creek
  • Location: B2/2 N Hallway gallery - outside rm 244

Johanson often made woodcuts based on his paintings as a way to explore possibilities for simplifying the design by translating it into another medium.  This woodcut relief print is based on the painting Three Kayakers in the Rock Creek Collection.  Comparing the two, the basic format and shapes are the same, but the subtle blue tones of the painting have been translated into bold black, purple, and red.  After the image was carved the artist cut the block into four sections on a table saw, inked them separately, fitted them back together and then printed them all at once on his etching press.  The sky block appears to have been printed red and then inked and reprinted in purple, presumably so that the red foreground would advance in space.  This technique of cutting up a relief block so it could be printed in multiple colors was developed by Edvard Munch.