Intern Perspectives: Edward McCluney

We hope by now you’ve had a chance to check out some of the prints from our newest artist member, Edward McCluney.  If you haven’t, read on for some insight from our summer intern, Ashley Ruel, and see some of his prints!

"Sepia Olive," intaglio by Edward McCluney

The prints of Edward McCluney range with a variety of techniques and visions.  With his different approaches to creating prints he gets different results out of them. For example his detailed intaglio’s such as “Wedding Guest II” or “Sepia Olive” have a softer feel than his linocuts, allowing you to get lost in the fine lines that make up the entire image, and appreciate the hand-drawn quality. Not only do they reveal strength in his ability to render realism, but through use of lighting and marks he captures the emotional content.

McCluney approaches each linocut differently as well, some of them such as his nude figures are large shapes described with thin simple lines, while others are much more worked with intense detail.

"Ella," linocut by Edward McCluney

The trait they all have in common is that McCluney is always in control of creatively utilizing positive and negative space with contrast.  An example of this is the portrait “Ella” (part of his Nine American Masters Series). The shadows imply planes yet at the same time melt into the background, creating the dramatic lighting that gives these prints a harsher quality. Other great examples of his use of black and white include his linocuts of abandoned boats in beautiful natural settings. These draw your attention to the carved quality achieved with the chosen process. It’s something that can also be seen in my personal favorite “Gargoyle and Five Doors”, an intricate image of what could be a haunted house, built up of wonky windows, towers, and shingles, sitting as a looming dark mass surrounded by nothing but the white of the paper. It’s a powerful use of space that McCuluney seems to be aware of in all of his pieces, and it’s a quality that is not only technically effective but visually striking.

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