Local Terrain

Jean Gumpper

December 6, 2014 – January 17, 2015

Local Terrain

Opening Reception: Saturday, December 6, 2-5 p.m.

The reduction woodcut process is well-suited to Jean Gumpper’s complex images of water and plant life throughout the seasons: tangled reflections of sinewy grasses in a marsh; a jumble of tree foliage punctuated by autumn’s first gold and red leaves, dripping into a swirling pond below; long shadows of shrubbery poking out among sparkling drifts of snow. Gumpper focuses on specific elements in the landscape, creating compositions that often omit the context of land or a horizon line. Such an approach allows her expressive, multi-layered landscapes to hover between realism and abstraction.

The artist creates her composition by cutting away portions of a piece of birch plywood. Ink is applied after each cutting, and the paper captures images of the areas that are left in relief. The print develops in stages where layers of color are determined by different cuts to the same piece of wood.

For Gumpper, the process of creating layers in a print mimics the “layers” she witnesses within the landscape. The artist explains:“I seek to integrate the memories, sounds and feelings of being in the landscape into the making of the print. The carving of the woodblock and the layering of the ink, for me, echo natural processes such as the layering of leaves, water, trees and light. Each color is mixed carefully and applied in a series of transparent and overlapping layers … and the layers build the completed image. Making the print is a way to re-live an experience and share it with others.”

Gumpper is a Colorado artist, and her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally. Her prints are included in the collections of the Cranbrook Institute of Art, Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, Rocky Mountain National Park, Springfield Art Museum, University of Pittsburgh, University of Wisconsin, Madison as well as in private collections in the United States, Canada, Japan and Nepal. In 2000, she received a Visual Artist Fellowship award from the Colorado Council on the Arts. Jean has participated in several artist residencies across the United States including the Anderson Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Red Wing, Minnesota, the Goldwell Museum in Rhyolite, Nevada, Rocky Mountain National Park and most recently, Grand Canyon National Park.