Harlan Mathieu

Rego Park, NY



Creating images is my way of interpreting the world. The power of a look or a gesture carries more weight than the words that accompany it. Making art been a way of understanding my life. Drawing people, a way of explaining who they are to me, and I to them.

I came to printmaking by accident; my first mentor had been a student of Mauricio Lasansky, and I followed him to study with the Argentine master at the University of Iowa. It was through Lasansky that I came to appreciate the great power of the printmaking process, how the struggle to bring the image forth from the plate allows it to reveal far more than you had ever conceived was there.

Finding my way to woodcut was only natural; I had been working with wood for as long as I could use tools: the immediacy and the clarity of the image, the push back of the grain, the life you could feel in the materials. And, of course, the vast history of images that have preceded me pushed me in new directions. I found a sense of freedom without limitations.

My professional life began in New York City showing prints at Associated American Artists and A Clean Well-Lighted Space, and a long association with The Bob Blackburn Printmaking Workshop and The New York Society of Etchers. I have had the opportunity to teach for much of my career and to share my love of making images. I am so happy to find myself continuing to make and exhibit prints fifty years later.

Guest Check, 17″ x 16″, woodcut
Recovery, 17″ x 14″, woodcut
Thirteen, 17″ x 13″, hand colored woodcut