Monday, 11 July 2011
Siccard Redl visits 'Haji Baba'
Just across from the sweet bazaar in Diyarbakir in SE Turkey there's a little place that sells good things to eat, including honey and clotted cream for breakfast. It was my friend Selam the masseur who works around the corner that sent me there and I could tell by the mischievous look on his face that he wanted to call me by the same name as the shop. It was 'Haji Baba'. So, now you know. And I thought these flowery pieces by Josephine Siccard Redl were exactly right for the shop, too. Not that I think there's anything at all wrong with them. Their floweriness might not accord with contemporary taste but that's for you to judge. I know that at least one reader will be enthusiastic. And I certainly didn't think it was right to hold them back as she was quite happy to publish them herself.
They remind me of the work that Helene Mass did around the same time of old house covered with flowers or creepers. As the first one is alled 'Aus Tirol' I assume they all show buildings there and date from the period in her career before she left for Istria on the Adriatic. (New readers need to track back and take a look at the three other posts about this artist). Here she displays an interest in construction that she went on to develop in her woodcuts of Venetian luggers. In what I believe are those slightly later works, she achieves a fuller sense of both the construction of the boats, sails and rigging and a tremendous sense of pictorial construction. For all the apparent delicacy of the last two prints of houses, there is an a tough sense of form in all three images. The dramatic angles and subtle use of light and shade in the firstwonerful image particularly look forward to her very best work in Istria.
I need to add that these are virtually the very last of the stash of about 30 images and that, unless I am very fortunate in my searches, I think these will be the final ones. Because of the nature of the source, I believe all these woodcuts formed part of the artist's estate after her death in Argentina. Look on her works ye mighty, and despair.