[From the Community Collection, a public trust in Agincourt, Iowa]
PLATT, John Edgar [1886–1967; British]
woodcut / 25.1 cm x 37.2 cm / #73 of an unknown edition
Without any intention of the sort, the Collection has acquired another woodcut by British printmaker John Platt — the fourth of his works and allied with the work of other artists.
Staithes is a picturesque coastal fishing village in North Yorkshire, possibly a place over-visited by tourists in recent years but surely a remote destination when Platt recorded his visit during the 1920s. Platt was among the earliest British artists to respond the Japanese ukiyo-e or “floating world” printmaking and here he has captured the essence of “place” with a seemingly minimum artistic effort — though we know the woodcut process requires endless hours of carving and perfect registry during the printing phase. In the spirit of current Minimalist art, there is an almost inverse relationship between effort and image: greater complication and effort are required to achieve effortless simplicity.
Platt’s other work can be found here, here, and here. Note the predominance of picturesque coastal themes.