Saturday, 19 June 2010

Hugh Wallis: Flowerprints

Hugh Wallis
(1871 Kettering - 1943)
English coppersmith, painter and woodblock printmaker.

Roaming the Internet, trying to learn and take max. advantage of the infinite possibilities, occasionally you come across some unexpected finds. Flower woodblock-prints from the Arts and Crafts period have my deepest interest. Just read my earlier posts.

Within the genre I like most the "simple" renderings with the very Western black keyblock's surrounding line.

And then one day you find an artist that explored this artform, made some pretty wonderfull and amazingly delicate prints and then seems to have left it alltogether to become very famous in a totally other medium. Ofcourse Hugh Wallis is best remembered as the most wonderfull English Arts and Crafts coppersmith.

Besides Gustave Baumann (1881-1971), whoms work (without even looking at his pictures) is easilly recognizable by the very distinctive border-design (dots), Hugh Wallis is the only printer who comes to my mind designing the outer margins of the print, matching and integrated in the design. Framing his composition indiviually. It works great with the square design which he seems to have sticked to (like William Nicholson did)
They look deceptively simple, amateurish even. They aren't. Here is a very talented, selfconfident and very original printing artist. Why he left woodblock printing to become an even more famous and recognized leading Arts and Crafts coppersmith .....................?
Just and only 4 I found to this day. Hugh' Wallis's prints rarely turn up at auctions in England but helas; they are above my financial possibilities. On one ocasion the cataloque describing the items as "possibly embroidery patterns". Some-one knew better, they were sold at rare woodblock-print prices. Imagine this: having grandma's embroidery framed and throwing away the "design".
Having discovered and knowing them, not able ever to forget them, is a real privilege.

No comments:

Post a Comment