Picador by Frederick O'Hara

Picador by Frederick OHara

Picador

Frederick O'Hara

Title

Picador

 
Artist
Year
1956  
Technique
color woodcut 
Image Size
12 x 30" image size 
Signature
pencil, lower right; signed in the block, upper left. 
Edition Size
124 of 210  
Annotations
titled and numbered 
Reference
Traugott page 30 
Paper
soft wove Japanese paper 
State
published 
Publisher
International Graphic Arts Society (IGAS) 
Inventory ID
19666 
Price
$900.00 
Description

"Picador" is a large color woodcut by New Mexico printmaker Frederick O'Hara, who learned woodcutting technique from Adja Yunkers in Albuquerque in 1949-50. 'Picador' was the fourth of four prints commissioned by the International Graphic Arts Society (IGAS) in the 1950s, all in editions of 210. 100 were sold in America, 100 were sold in Europe and 10 proofs were for the artist.

O'Hara's printmaking was always pushing the edges of imagery and technique, always experimental. This image uses both a black linear block to detail the subject and the grain of the blocks and almost abstract expressionist gouging to create the drama and chaos of the subject.

'Picador' does not hold back on the brutality of the bullfight. A charging bull runs through the matador's cape and upends a picador's horse, which in turn falls onto the picador. The picador’s job is to weaken the bull with lances in the shoulders. This bull has not been lanced and attacks at full strength. The matador has a look of horror on his face.

O'Hara uses the red in the cape to separate the matador from the violence and also indicate the gorging of the horse, the picador's lance is useless and total violence is about to erupt. This is not the romantic image of the bullfight that inspired so many artists and writers over the centuries.