Strength in Softness: Introducing Ellen Von Wiegand

JoAnne Artman Gallery
Jul 6, 2019 3:20PM

Ellen Von Wiegand’s body of work reverberates with a quest for self-assurance and serenity as she uses her own nude body within her stylized prints. In a new series of large scale, limited edition linocuts now on view at JoAnne Artman Gallery's Laguna Beach location, her portraits feature a distinctive use of line to establish composition, as well as a tool to divide space and color into defined, physical boundaries.

Ellen Von Wiegand, Install, JoAnne Artman Gallery, Laguna Beach.

As opposed to digital prints, linocuts celebrate the long tradition of handmade editioned art that has been practiced for nearly two millennia. While woodblock printmaking goes back thousands of years, artists like Picasso popularized linocut in the early part of the 20th century due to wider availability of linoleum.

“All parts of my process are done by hand, from the original drawing, to the carving, and final printing. In order to produce a work in multiple colors, separate blocks need to be carved and printed for each hue. As a result, creating a limited edition of colorful prints is quite time consuming and requires a great deal of patience. And while there are multiple prints created from the same plates, each one is truly an original work of art” Von Wiegand explains.

EXEKIAS, Attic black-figure amphora (detail showing Ajax and Achilles playing a game), c. 540-530 B.C.E., 24 inches high, (Gregorian Etruscan Museum, Vatican City)

PABLO PICASSO, Still Life under the Lamp, Linocut on Paper. © Succession Picasso/DACS, London 2016. Image courtesy of Trustees of the British Museum.

Reminiscent of ancient Corinthian Black-Figure Ceramics, her silhouettes and their environments are incised with delicate contours that reinforce dimensionality. Highlighting structural and decorative elements with patterned line, texture, and opaque blocks of color, Von Wiegand’s intent and approach renders the works poetic, vulnerable, and highly personal.

“Using my body has caused my work to develop into something highly personal. When we are nude we are at our most vulnerable, and I have come to see my work as a way to reconcile with the shy, insecure and fearful pieces of myself. It is a practice in being more open and allowing people into my world when in my real life I struggle to do so.”

Ellen Von Wiegand
Of Wild Weeds,
JoAnne Artman Gallery
Ellen Von Wiegand
High Up in the Moonlight,
JoAnne Artman Gallery

“ I don’t see my prints as self-portraits, but rather physical representations of emotional states of being. Male or female, my hope is that you see a piece of yourself reflected back to you in each image,” she concludes.

ELLEN VON WIEGAND has a background in Art History, completing her Masters degree in Contemporary Art at Christie's Education in 2011, and receiving her BA in Art History from John Cabot University, Rome in 2010. She began to develop an interest in printmaking while studying the linocuts of Picasso and Der Blaue Reiter during her time at Christie's, and she is largely self-taught in the craft.

Now on View at JoAnne Artman Gallery, Laguna Beach

326 N Coast Highway || Laguna Beach, CA 92651

Contact: JoAnne Artman

Telephone: 949-510-5481 || E-mail: [email protected]


JoAnne Artman Gallery