linocut on paper
signed, titled and editioned 41/50
20 x 14 po, 50.8 x 35.6 cm
Estimation : $2,000 - $3,000
Vendu pour : $875
Exposition à : Heffel Vancouver
Private Collection, Vancouver Island
Janet Nicol, On the Curve: The Life and Art of Sybil Andrews, 2019, page 129
The artist relates: “Bell” started as a Christmas card. Within a few quick sketches I had a great composition of bells swinging from ropes. Dissatisfied, I wanted to know how a Bell worked. I went to the museum and sketched and studied a train bell. Still dissatisfied, I went to our Quadra Island United Church. I climbed up to the belfry and cranked the bell to one side which left about 1 inch between myself and the bell to sketch. Sybil (Andrews) always said not to let a lino-cut get too big, but I couldn’t keep the image I wanted of the deep tower small. We agreed that this image demanded size. Symbolically the bell is a powerful image; the sound, the welcoming calling, the joy of hearing them pealing over the countryside. How do you get a bell to ring? “…as each hung bell’s bow, swung, finds tongue to fling out broad its name…” G.M. Hopkins."
Richard Calver was born in Oxfordshire, England, and at the age of 19 he immigrated to Canada, settling in Quadra Island off the coast of British Columbia. In 1979, he began to study art with well-known printmaker Sybil Andrews, who was teaching from her home/studio in Campbell River, while continuing her masterful body of work in linocut. Quadra Island was only a ten-minute ferry ride from Campbell River, and Calver joined Andrews’s weekly teaching sessions. He recalled the wonderful atmosphere of her studio filled with smoke from the beach wood burning in her old stove, and her insistence on working in natural light. He related that “Sybil talked about her theories of art and ways to capture light, mood and feeling. ‘Grab it while it’s white hot…Put it down as violently as you can,’ ” she advised. She told her students to avoid horizontal and vertical lines, to look for angles and curves, and to draw with dark lines and leave them in, advice Calver followed.
Andrews’s instruction brought a turning point in Calver’s life, and he acquired linocut tools and began to produce a body of work in this medium. Early appreciation of his work came when an art collector visiting Andrews’s studio was impressed with his linocuts and acquired some of his prints, and Andrews bought an impression of his print Dandelions Rejoicing (lot 207, another impression in this sale). Calver continued his relationship with Andrews, helping her during her final years, and he stated “it was a friendship I really treasured.”
Natural forms are the foundation of Calver’s imagery and he is clearly influenced by Andrews’s modernist style, formed during her time in England when she was part of the Grosvenor School of linocut artists, which was influenced by Futurism and its fascination with the electrifying pace of modern life. Calver’s work includes botanical forms, figures, nudes and musical subjects. His linocuts are finely detailed, richly coloured and full of dynamic movement.
Please note: this work is unframed.
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