Sandy Walker: Woodblock Prints

Three large framed woodblock prints of a tree and other abstract nature images hang on three different gallery walls. 

Installation view, Sandy Walker: Woodblock Prints, MIT List Visual Arts Center, 1994. Archival slide.

Hayden Gallery and Reference Gallery
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Sandy Walker
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This exhibition brings together a group of large, dramatic woodblock prints by Californian Sandy Walker that manage to balance the competing demands of eye, intellect, and emotion.

The prints hover between abstraction and representation. Though based in nature (the artist often carries his huge plywood blocks into the fields or woods), the prints are less a mirror of a specific location than an evocation of the rhythms and pulses of the natural world. They recall both the bold gestures of Jackson Pollack, whom Walker much admires, and the elemental forces and shimmering atmospherics of Asian art.

His woodblock prints demonstrate a freshness and immediacy that belies the several stages of their creation. They embody both control and a considered ordering by which a vertiginous illusionism is always brought back to the surface. They contain a sober sense of the joy and beauty of the natural world and a respect for its deep rhythmic pulse. His process therefore involves an intimate and ongoing sequence of stasis, readiness, touch and response, a physical, three-way conversational choreography among the artist, his materials, and his subject that embodies the sensuous and kinetic energy at the source of the meaning. 

Publication with text by Katy Kline.