A Fine White Line: Faces Behind the Prints Celebrating 100
Years of the Provincetown Print
at Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum 508-487-1310
1 High Pole Road, Provincetown www.pilgrim-monument.org
Provincetown has drawn artists from its earliest days and is America’s oldest active art colony. In the 20th Century, it was a bustling center of avant-garde teachers and students of Impressionism and Abstract Expressionism. It also provided the fertile ground for the camaraderie of a group of innovative printmakers to create a new art form.
In 1915, Bror Julius Olsen Norfeldt revolutionized the way prints were made, simplifying the process and creating a full color print with one block. These became known as “Provincetown Prints” or white-line woodcuts. This year marks the 100th anniversary of this new way of printmaking that has evolved through several generations of artists.
“The Fine White Line: Faces Behind the Prints,” on view through November 30 at the Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum, curator Bill Evaul, contemporary master of the woodblock print and art historian, has immortalized the early leaders of this new form. As a tribute to the founders, he has created beautiful white-line portraits of them, incorporating something representational of each artist depicted.
Many years ago Evaul became fascinated by the early printmakers and researched the movement thoroughly to write an article. Evaul found it “remarkable that they took a 5,000 year old tradition and created a “think-tank” of creativity to nurture experimentation.” He realized that to lecture about the period he needed to understand the process by doing it. He loved the technique and evolved his own style using it, and has become one of its leading artists and teachers.
“The most intriguing thing for me about creating white-line woodcuts is the absolute freedom of color I have. It’s the most painterly of all printing techniques,” Evaul says. “No other process can allow the use of a full palette like this. And if that weren’t enough, the artist can make another print from the same block with an entirely different color scheme. Talk about freedom.”
The exhibit presents ten 22” x 16” portraits. Some of the artists included are: B.J.O. Nordfeldt, Blanche Lazzell, Agnes Weinrich, Ethel Mars & Maude Squire, Edna Hopkins. The exhibition and educational exhibit includes a video demonstration by Evaul and a block in the progress of printing.
Evaul exhibits in solo and group shows nationwide, including The Smithsonian Institute, The Society of American Graphic Artists and the Boston Printmakers. His work is in many private and public collections, including The Library of Congress and The Zimmerli Art Museum. A graduate of Pratt Institute, Evaul performed graduate work at the Whitney Museum of American Art, and was awarded two fellowships to the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. Evaul also shows in his gallery in town at 347 Commercial Street.