Emily J. Peters Curator of Prints and Drawings
Erich Heckel (German, 1883-1970)
Color woodcut, Image: 46 x 32.6 cm (18 1/8 x 12 13/16 in.); Sheet: 69.9 x 55.7 cm (27 1/2 x 21 15/16 in.). John L. Severance Fund 1991.109
In this portrait, made one year after World War I ended, Erich Heckel inscribed his own face with the traumas and uncertainties of the period. The woodcut’s jagged angles and broad surfaces distill his facial features while still maintaining a likeness, resulting in the essence of an emotionally disturbed state. The green face further relays the sitter’s spiritual and physical trauma. Heckel first printed the black areas of the block, and then brushed the three colors onto a different block before printing them.
Cleveland, Ohio: The Cleveland Museum of Art; August 17-November 9, 2003. "Against the Grain: Woodcuts from the Collection". No exhbition catalogue.The Cleveland Museum of Art; Jan. 14, 2018-May 27, 2018. "Graphic Discontent: German Expressionism on Paper."
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