Lion in the Forest by Ynez Johnston

Lion in the Forest by Ynez Johnston

Lion in the Forest

Ynez Johnston

Title

Lion in the Forest

 
Artist

Ynez Johnston

  1920 - PRESENT (biography)
Year
1953  
Technique
color relief print with woodcut with stenciled color 
Image Size
16 3/8 x 25 7/8" image size 
Signature
pencil, lower right 
Edition Size
9 of 25  
Annotations
pencil titled, lower center; pencil editioned, lower left 
Reference
similar impression as well as reference painting illustrated Nordland, page 45, figs. 20 and 21. 
Paper
cream Japanese laid 
State
published 
Publisher
artist 
Inventory ID
LASM101 
Price
$1,800.00 
Description

This large, early color woodcut by Ynez Johnston was done in 1953. A casein on board and another impression of "Lion in the Forest" are illustrated on page 45 of "Ynez Johnston" by Gerald Nordland, Grassfield Press, 1996, figures 20 and 21.

Johnston commented about her woodcuts: "The techniques I used were pretty simple. Mostly I used a knife to cut the lines, also the usual wood cutting tools and also different size nails to pound holes and sort of dotted lines; sometimes etching tools to deepen or scratch out the grain. The color was applied with stencils, but not as in an etching. I'd make six or seven light proofs from the block (lightly inked) and cut out the areas I wanted color to appear.

Then, on the piece of (rice) paper destined to become the print I'd place the stencil and using a water based paint, sponge the color through the stencil apertures. After all the color had thus been applied I'd struggle with the problem of how to register the paper and the block - always a head-ache - and usually a bit off, because after the block was inked with printing ink and the paper laid down upon it, no adjustment could be made."

Critic Alfred Frankenstein wrote in the San Francisco Chronicle in 1956:

"Ynez Johnston is an artist who has mastered a fabulous, very personal, very important, and all but indescribable style. Miss Johnston fuses dream and improvisation...in the infinite, unbelievably minute elaboration of her design, which often take on an almost microscopic character. Her scale can be very deceptive, however; once it entraps the eye it leads it through extraordinary shifts and reversals , so that the microscopic is revaled as immense vanishes into the small... the little forms are half abstract and half representational; they are patches of color and line and they are also towers, battlements, facades and domes. They are static like aerial photographs, and they flow like old maps..."