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Legacies of the landscape – Cara van der Westhuizen
‘Legacies of the landscape’ was an exhibition of selected prints from the Katrine Harries Print Cabinet drawn together by the pervasive tradition of representing the landscape. The works ranged from the 16th century to the present.
In this survey of the landscape the prints acted not only as a space for the description of aesthetic pleasure and a record of a geographical place, but also as a reflection of the artist’s interpretation of political, economic and social forces at work at a particular time. Artists as divergent in epoch, intention and print technique as Rembrandt and Payne, Blotelingh and Williamson were included, drawing attention to the ever mutable intentions with which artists have inscribed and interpreted the landscape. The intention behind the exhibition was not only to conjure landscapes of both place and mind but also to offer the viewer the opportunity to examine the intricacies of various printmaking techniques realised in the diverse work selected. Visitors were invited to enjoy one of the first chiaroscuro woodcuts, David Beheading Goliath, which exhibits the technique as developed by Ugo da Carpi; the exquisite detail of the curved shading in Dürer’s remarkable etchings; and the striking representation of line and colour in woodcuts by the masterful hand of Cecil Skotnes.
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