The Magical Plane



"Heads" from the "Fruitful Thoughts" Cycle, 70 x 100 cm, Woodcut Printed on Paper, 2000
"Heads" from the "Fruitful Thoughts" Cycle
70 x 100 cm, Woodcut printed on Paper, 2000

The power of the color woodcut lies not in the subject matter but in the plane. To be more exact, it lies in the concentration on the essence of the plane. The subject matter acts on the periphery while, when seen strictly phenomenologically, it is the plane that creates the actual depth of the image.

As multiple printed planes encounter each other, dimensionality is created. And when I speak of plane I don't mean just a static plane but rather the complex process of the plane. The difficulty lies in trying to imagine this complexity without color to start with. The woodcut is not cut in color but in wood; color is added later. It is like cutting an image in a limbo of great potential. Thinking of color too early on in the process results in illustrations, never developing the full potential of the woodcut. This is an extraordinary fact to which I have not found reference in any books about woodcuts. All my woodcuts are attempts to understand the phenomenon of the plane.

Jeff Beer, April 2001