Brad Davis -
American, b. 1942
Long Branch, 1983
Woodcut, stencil, and screenprint, 36.0 x 71.0 inches
Printer's Proof (2 from an edition of 40)
Diane Villani Editions
Gift of Kathleen J. Crispell (LSA '67) and Thomas S. Porter (MBA '67)
Brad Davis is drawn to both East Asian and western landscape art. In collaboration with Chip Elwell, one of the great American masters of woodblock printing, Davis joins an American realism of detail with the technical and stylistic traditions of the Japanese woodcut and Chinese landscape painting.
In its asymmetrical composition, with its subject the "long branch" to one side, and in the quick brushwork that gives form to the cluster of rocks and the stream in which they rest, the artist evokes the sketch-like spontaneity of Zen painting. Interestingly, this style has no precedent in the printmaking traditions of Japan. In his unusual blending of opposites, Davis perhaps wishes to point to an important affinity shared by American and East Asian artists in their approach to landscape: namely, the wish to make visible the underlying spiritual energies of nature.