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Ian McCulloch Prints

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"I am interested in the tradition of large-scale figure composition which has come down to us from classical and renaissance times. My aim has been to establish a personal visual language by marrying aspects of these traditions with the discoveries of modernism, elements of which were still active in my formative years as a painter. In pursuance of this, I work on large unprimed canvases, usually consisting of sections bolted together which enable me to deploy human figures at larger than life sizes. I have also developed a method of painting the final works from previously prepared cartoons. Scenes and dramatic settings are used which seek to excite the eye while at the same time engaging the intellect. Allied to this, I have developed an interest in the use of myth as subject matter. Myths can be recycled to suggest continuity with the past while also serving as metaphors to lay bare the underlying realities of contemporary life.

In addition to working as a painter, I began in the 1980s to experiment with printmaking. In making relief prints, I find that the inherent intransigence of a woodblock, which necessitates the use of chisels driven by a mallet to create a line, gives me access to images, particularly when the blocks are inked in black, which are starker and harsher than can be readily achieved through the medium of paint. Since such images readily lend themselves to reproduction and transmission, they may have the capacity to reach a wide audience."

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