Walter Feldman 1950's Woodcuts - Part One

Feldman a Printmaker's Printmaker.

I had not consciously decided to use the theme of crucifixion. I just started to cut, and it came about. The print is now in the collection of the Metropolitan and at Yale, and the Yale Art Gallery has acquired the original block. This was my first woodcut.

In 1952 the first woodcut made by Walter Feldman, The Final Agony, was submitted to the Metropolitan Museum of Art print exhibition and he won the Print Prize. There were 7,109 submissions to this Metropolitan exhibition, 559 works selected and 6 print prize winners. Thus commenced this Yale trained painter's love of printmaking. The Final Agony would be exhibited in the 1952 Dey Gosse Gallery, Providence, RI, 1953 Essex Art Association Exhibition, Essex, Ct, and at the 1953 Northwest Printmakers, Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, Wa and the 2003 & 2018 David Winton Bell Gallery exhibits, Brown University, Providence, RI.

The Final Agony, 1952
“ Walter Feldman’s woodblock print, The Final Agony, is a very moving and suggestive example making fine use of black and white areas in the working out of his close-knit design.” New York Times, 1952.
The Expulsion (The Leave Taking), 1952
  • Essex Art Association, 1953 organized by Josef Albers
  • David Winton Bell Gallery, Brown University in 2003 & 2018
"This work refers to the Bible story about the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden. I had become interested in developing my use of the woodcut after the success of “The Final Agony”. In “The Expulsion”, I began to discover how two colors can become three. The print was done not through overprinting but by cutting away from the gray block. The black or key block was done first and then was offset onto another piece of wood. I knew precisely where the black was going to fall onto the white and onto the gray. The white is now shape and color, and when it’s not exactly lined up, it’s done on purpose, so that there is a quality of searching in the image." Walter Feldman
The Prayer, 1952
  • Brooklyn Museum National Print Annual, 1953,
  • Essex Art Association organized by Josef Albers, 1953,
  • Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, 1954,
  • Young American Printmakers, Museum of Modern Art. 1954
1952 Woodcuts: Cristos, The Bull, The Matador
  • 1952 Dey Gosse Gallery in Providence, RI
  • 1953 Essex Art Association (Cristos)
The Rooster, 1954
  • Dey Gosse Gallery, Providence, RI, 1952
  • Butler Art Institute, Youngstown College, Ohio, 1954
  • Library of Congress, 1956
Walter Feldman as a young boy
"Look closely at the color cut "The Rooster". Here is no mere representation of the superficial qualities of an ever-popular subject. The sure slashes of color-line impinge on the critical eye and the vital rooster emerges.... Walter Feldman is a printmaker's printmaker. He does not "talk down" to his spectator. The casual spectator may be impressed by the inherent craft quality of these works. His work in the rich contemporary visual style tempered with a respect for the humanistic and traditional yields much to the various viewer. These prints are not gooey aesthetic concoctions - these are works of substance - the stuff that make for creative growth." Sidney Chafetz, 1954, Ohio State University.
Sacrifice of Issac, 1952, SOLD
  • 1953, 1955 Northwest Printmakers, Seattle Art Museum
  • 1953 Youngstown College Butler Art Institute
  • 1953, University of Southern California
  • 1954, Butler Art Institute
1953 Color Woodcuts : The Seed, The Seed #2 in yellow, blue and red
  • 1953-54, Bradley University 4th Annual Print Exhibition
  • 1954 Graphic Arts, University of Illinois
The Anteater, 1952...but isn't it really an Armadillo? Exhibited in Dey Gosse Gallery in Arcade of Providence, RI, SOLD
Figurative Composition, 1952
The Planter (The Firemaker), 1956
  • 1956, Northwest Printmakers Seattle Art Museum
  • 1956, College Prints Youngstown University, Butler Art Institute, Purchase Prize Winner
  • 1956, Library of Congress
  • 1956 14th National Exhibition of Prints
“ I played with the image in several versions. The important thing for me was the big abstract black shape, which was in contrast to the hands and the fire of the little plant in front and of the legs and the feet. The ground is left with some of the heights resulting from cutting. The wood with a gouge. The texture becomes part of the expression of being cut with knife and gouge.” Walter Feldman Interview 2010
Old Man and the Sea, 1953 - Essex Art Association, 1953

These woodcuts are from the Walter S. Feldman Trust for Artwork , Brown University. Proceeds from Feldman painting sales go to the Trust created by Walter S. Feldman (1925-2017) to market and maintain his life's work. Catherine Little Bert, Bert Gallery, inc is the visual arts advisor & curator for the Trust.

Contact Catherine Little Bert of Bert Gallery, inc for an Woodcuts 1 Inventory and Price List at bertgallery@comcast.net or 401.751.2628.

If you wish to see any of these paintings in this Online Viewing Room call ahead to Bert Gallery. Not all of these artworks are at Bert Gallery but readily available to be transported from storage to the gallery for your viewing.