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'25 Wood Engravings by Peter Lawrence' by Peter Lawrence: Mini Book Review

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Sat 7th Mar 2020
Blog Categories: Inspiration & Books Reviews | Wood Engraving Printmaking | All / Filter

Book:'25 Wood Engravings by Peter Lawrence' by Peter Lawrence
80 pages
This Edition Published By:Self published by Peter Lawrence 2015

At about 15cm square this small book packs in a good sized punch, introducing 25 of his own (Peter Lawrence's) engravings over the years. Only 100 of these lovely little books was produced, and I'm the proud owner of copy 56 (2nd hand I should note via AbeBooks with Christmas book tokens), and an excellent purchase it was too.

'25 Wood Engravings by Peter Lawrence' by Peter Lawrence

Peter states he did his first engraving in 1985, but didn't create another until 1990, and you can see the development of his unique and very interesting style, by including copies of engravings from 1993 to 2015, with the 2000s and 2010s being mainly represented (the 1990s represented by 1 engraving from 1993 and 1998 respectively).

I like and admire Peter's style - the various textures, alternating & overlapping shapes, shapes within shapes, contrasts of tone between pure black, textured in various tones, then to pure white, contrasts and harmonies between the various elements. Add to that the overall plan and reasons why he engraved what he did - they are far more than 'pretty abstract pictures' - take for example 'Five for England' which includes plans for the National Gallery abstracted out.

He says quite understandably that one influence is Geoffrey Wales which he states he was introduced to via 'A History of Wood Engraving' by Albert Garrett (reviewed in Dec 2019 on this blog) - a book that I hear many others talk about as an influence.

His textual descriptions of why he created the work, with supporting sketches, and inclusion of family connections is well worth reading too.

If you like wood engraving, or abstract art (or both), these books are well worth it - you might just find it hard to get a copy - and you can't have mine!

Note 1: the engravings are in some cases printed reduced in size (sometimes significantly so, as some are 500mm in one dimension and book is approx. 150mm square). This also means what you see are (presumably) digital printed copies of the prints - they are not printed directly from the block. When reducing & reproducing digitally such finely engraved blocks inevitably there will be some loss of detail, but this is not over apparent and all images are printed beautifully in my copy.
Note 2: Peter Lawrence is a former Chairman of the Society of Wood Engravers.

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