Alex Gama (1950 - )

Trama XIII (1983)
Pattern XIII

Wood engraving on Japanese paper
height: 41.4cm
width: 42cm

Donated by Alex Gama 1999


In this example from Gama's Trama series the grain of the hardwood block is particularly evident. The prominence of the rippling lines, each marking a year of growth, suggests a huge tree whose own long history cannot be effaced by the geometric pattern which overlays it. On the contrary, in comparison to the faint lines incised into its surface the wood beneath bulges with life. Ernst Gombrich, in his book Art and Illusion, notes the universal human tendency to identify marks on a surface as representational - a figure, a face. In this print the black squares work in this way, tempting the viewer to read meaning into the patterned surface, and so adding a further dimension to the image.

Valerie Fraser, 2008

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