SPIRIT OF PLACE
Spirit of Place celebrates the splendor of landscape. Four images composed of line drawings printed in two colors render the evocativeness of scenery such as moonlight on water, wind skimming across a wheat field, an undulating expanse of rich earth, and the glow of late-day sunlight on snow. The title pays homage to Lawrence Durrell (and his collection of letters and essays on travel of the same title), whose incomparably perceptive and elegant descriptions of landscapes render the distinctive feel of a place. -Ann Aspinwall
I made the plate for this etching in 1999 or 2000, while I was living in Venice. During those years I did several etchings that adhered to a certain principle. I drew one freehand line as straight as possible. Under that line I drew another, following as closely as I could the one above it. Each successive line followed the line directly above, imitating all the curves and shakes. These imperfections, or deviations from the original line, became more and more prominent, each line being an interpretation of what came before it. I was gratified at that time to come across the writing of John Dewey on the subject of rhythm in his Art as Experience (1934):
Rhythm is an “ordered variation of changes.” There is no rhythm “when there is a uniformly even flow, with no variations of intensity or speed,” when “variations of pulse and rest do not occur.” “Variations of intensity are relative to the subject matter directly experienced. Each beat, in differentiating a part within the whole, adds to the force of what went before while creating a suspense that is a demand for something to come. It is not a variation in a single feature but a modulation of the entire pervasive and unifying qualitative substratum.”
Ten years later I came back to this plate. Looking at it again after a long time I perceived the strong influence of Venice; the texture calls to mind water and fabric. I was unable to decide on one color for an edition, so after printing many color proofs, I chose ten combinations of colored lines on colored Japanese papers. The prints evoke the light and surfaces of Venice. The title of the series, Tessuto Veneziano, means Venetian textile or texture. - Ann Aspinwall
This suite of three screenprints celebrates the colors and materials of Mariano Fortuny’s designs. The method of drawing was similar to that in the Tessuto Veneziano series, but here the line work is much larger and looser, suggestive of pleats and undulations. The lines often cluster together nearly in knots, or spread apart allowing the space between to come to the surface. - Ann Aspinwall
Ann Aspinwall (b. 1976 in New York) received her MA in Art History from the University of St Andrews in Scotland in 1998. She studied printmaking at studios in Scotland and Italy. She previously worked as a printer at Pace Editions in New York and as a Print Specialist at the New York Public Library. In 2012 Aspinwall and Knut Willich founded Aspinwall Editions, a fine art print publisher and print studio with facilities in New York and Rheine, Germany. Her work is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the New York Public Library, and the Smith College Museum of Art. She lives and works in New York.