Collagraph and embossing
Barnett Newman (1905 – 1970)
Cantos (suite of 18 lithographs) (1963-4, Size?)
This piece has its inspiration from Barnett Newman’s Cantos suite of 18 lithographs. Canto means ‘I sing’ in Italian, and I have chosen to title this piece, Shirah which means ‘to sing’ in Hebrew since the text included is from Psalms, a collection of ancient songs.
I have taken the stark black and white vertical bands of design that Newman had so well explored and converted them into the texture and text for which my work has been known. The black strip on the left is created using silk organza adhered to the plate and then it is inked to create a near velvet surface. The right section of the print contains a Hebrew passage from several of the early Psalms, including one that says, ‘the word of the Lord is flawless, like refined silver,’ which was chosen to be one of the themes of CIVA'’ 25th anniversary which this series celebrates. A simple narrow band of white separates these two design elements and echoes Newman’s ‘zip’ that is so prevalent in his work.