Wagener, Richard. California in Relief. San Francisco: The Book Club of California. 2009.
“Wagener’s images of nature — his stately Sierra trees, stark peaks and rocky crags — and his urban architectural monuments — the Pantages Theater and the Griffith Observatory — combine to make this work a deeply personal record of distinctive California locations.”
The Book Club of California
This book beautifully shows the wanderings of artist Richard Wagener from Los Angeles, where he was born, to the San Jacinto Mountains, the Antelope Valley, Sonoma County, the Sierra Nevada, and back to L.A. Technique is very much in evidence with this work, and not since Paul Landacre has an artist achieved such results with the difficult process of wood engraving.
Wood engraving is a relief not an intaglio process despite the name, so the ink rests on a raised surface but the tools used are those of the engraver: the burin and the graver. As opposed to a wood cut, the wood engraver carves the end of the woodblock not the plank side, so finer and more precise lines are possible and a wider range of tonal effects can be achieved.
This book contains thirty original prints printed by the artist Richard Wagener and is accompanied by short prose pieces written by him. It was designed and produced by Peter Koch, a long-time and frequent collaborator with Wagener. The edition is limited to 300 copies each signed by the artist and by Peter Koch.
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