Travels with the Master: New York Night (Prussian
By Paul Binnie
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Edition size: n/a
Sheet size: 29 x 20.5 cm
Price: $480 (excl. taxes)
This print was produced in 2008 as part of Binnie's Travels with the Master series, a landscape series inspired by the woodblock prints of Hiroshi Yoshida (1876-1950), the artist whose work provided Binnie with the impetus to travel to Japan and learn traditional woodblock printmaking and who Binnie considers his spiritual teacher. In 1928 Yoshida depicted a similar view of the Woolworth Building which was, at that time, the tallest building in the world.
In 2008, Binnie's New York Night was commission by Scholten Japanese Art in an edition limited to 100 numbered impressions. While the composition is largely based on Yoshida's version, the gradation of the dark blue to inky-black sky was rendered in gomazuri (lit. sesame seed printing) in a deliberate reference to early landscapes by Kawase Hasui (1883-1957).
Following a cathartic purge of his studio in 2016 during which nearly all of the woodblocks for his completed editions met their end in a wood chipper, the New York blocks escaped destruction, presenting Binnie an opportunity which he had never considered before- to tinker with the palette on a completed edition. The speckles of un-inked paper from the gomazuri printing in the sky allowed Binnie to produce three small batches of variant impressions by enhancing the background color with deep violet, dark (nearly black) teal, and this version, saturated Prussian blue.