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Aline Feldman

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The Washington Post
June 20, 2015
Museums / In the Galleries / ALINE FELDMAN
By Mark Jenkins

Among the ploys Aline Feldman learned from Japanese woodcuts is the dramatic vantage point.  Most of the large prints in "Images From Wood, A Thirty Year Survey"  at the Marsha Mateyka Gallery gaze down from a high imagined perch. Observed from such an aerial perspective, every vista turns into a color patchwork, whether showing the peaks and fields of "Hawaiian Memory" or the semi-fictionalized Dupont Circle of "Midtown Movement".

Instead of making individual blocks for each color, the Maryland artist carves complete compositions and prints their segments separately, using watercolor paint rather than ink.  The method allows her to blend colors and results in unusually vivid hues. (It means that none of the prints, although done in editions of 15 or 25 is identical).  The most recent works in this retrospective, two "Tidal Dialogues" made last year, employ a less elevated viewpoint and a gentler palette.  They still share, however, Feldman's well-established sense of color and harmony.




Galleries: "Nothing plain about Feldman's panoramas"

The Washington Post, Galleries C8
Friday, March 29, 2013
by Mark Jenkins

Woodblock or woodcut printing developed in Asia and Europe, but in recent centuries its most artistic forms are associated primarily with Japan.  So it's hardly surprising to discover that Aline Feldman, whose work is at Marsha Mateyka Gallery, studied with Unichi Hiratsuka, a Japanese printmaker who spent time in Washington.   But the prints in "Landscapes/Cityscapes: Images From Wood"  take Japanese techniques in new directions.

Feldman uses watercolor, not ink, to make large monoprints (one-of-a-kind images) of mostly imaginary urban and rural scenes.  She carves a single block, rather than individual ones for each color, and applies different pigments to various portions of the carving at separate times.  This requires superlative precision, but the exacting technique doesn't seem to limit Feldman.  She also sometimes allows the wood's grain to show in the finished piece.  Thus, "images from wood".

This selection includes a view of a stretch of Connecticut Avenue that's a short walk from the gallery.  The other prints, however, depict less-specific places, although sometimes with a recognizable feature such as the Brooklyn Bridge inserted into the composition.  Several of the works are in Feldman's long-running "Paradox of Place" series, which jumbles locations in a slightly disorienting way.  The artist doesn't seek to unnerve the viewer, though.  With their bright hues, sensuous lines and humorous touches, these non-places are entirely inviting.

"Landscapes/Cityscapes: Images From Wood"  on view through Saturday at Marsha Mateyka Gallery, 2012 R Street, NW; 202 328-0088.