Archive for January, 2010

The Seattle Times Reviews Dijkstra and Mortensen

Works of painstaking detail capture landscapes’ beauty

by Nancy Worssam, special to the Seattle Times
January 14, 2010

Woodblock prints are among the lesser-known mainstream art forms.

Reduction woodcuts are even less familiar.

The prints of two reduction-woodcut artists now displayed at Davidson Galleries serve as a wonderful introduction to this type of art for newcomers. For those who are already aficionados, it’s high-quality work to enjoy.

Gordon Mortensen and Siemen Dijkstra offer minutely detailed landscapes that are both intimate and expansive. Mortensen, an American, is considered one of the best artists working in this genre today. The much-younger Dijkstra, whose work equals that of Mortensen, was born and lives in The Netherlands.

In woodblock printing, the artist carves a different block for each ink color. The blocks are used one after the other to lay down the ink and complete the picture on each paper in that edition.

Reduction-woodcut prints are made from a single block. The artist carves the block for the first ink application and prints that. Then he cleans the ink from the block and carves for the next color. The cutting, inking and printing are repeated many times to create the subtle color variations and pictorial refinements demanded by the artist. There’s no turning back in this process. If each step isn’t perfectly executed, the prints are not ideal…

» Continue reading at

• View work by Siemen Dijkstra and Gordon Mortensen

2010 Seattle Print Fair

Hosted by Davidson Galleries • Visit

Showing in February at Davidson Galleries

February 2010 Exhibition

First Thursday opening reception: February 4, 6-8pm.
Through February 27

Click for more images from exhibition

Contemporary Mezzotints

Contemporary Mezzotints features works by six artists new to Davidson Galleries in addition to recent works by artists currently represented by the gallery including: Art Werger, Carol Wax, Frederick Mershimer and Daniel Carrillo, all from the U.S. New artists include Michel Estebe (France), James Groleau (U.S.), Pekka Hokkanen (Finland), Julie Niskanen (U.S.), Cleo Wilkinson (Australia) and Malgorzata Zurakowska (Poland/U.S.).

The magic of the mezzotint’s rich velvety surface is achieved by “rocking” the surface of a metal plate to create a rough pitted surface that is then scraped and burnished to generate the image. This demanding process, invented in the sixteenth century, lends itself to the manipulation of light, shadows, and pattern. These featured artists employ the mezzotint technique for their own unique styles and imagery. Subject matter varies from urban landscapes to still lifes, to surreal worlds, to naturalist subjects, to portraiture. Examples of earlier, antique mezzotints will also be on view in the Antique Print Department.

Visit exhibition page to view work