Frank C. Eckmair (1930-2012 ), Bentley's Place, c. 1970; woodblock, 28 1/2 x 20 1/2 inches; Burchfield Penney Art Center, Gift of Charles Rand Penney, 1991
As someone who is not a printmaker, I find the woodblock printing process fascinating—such nuanced spatial processing is required to understand the relationship between the positive and negative spaces which create a print like this. Seeing the process used to create a woodblock print helps me appreciate the final artwork so much more. I like to think about how the final print we see is created not just by what is present (the parts of the wood pressing against the paper), but by what has been eliminated. We often think of making art as an additive process, in that the artist adds paint or charcoal or clay to create a work of art. And while the ink is certainly added to the paper when it comes to printmaking, I enjoy that the print is created because of what has been taken away; that it’s really what has been removed creates the shape of what we see. Looking at the woodblock itself shows us so much about Frank Eckmair’s artistic process, and I enjoy seeing the otherwise invisible impact of his hand on the woodblock.
Heather Gring, Archivist