Art Exhibit – WILLIAM H. HAYS Reduction Woodcuts and Linocut Prints
Salmon Falls Gallery (1 Ashfield St #9, Shelburne Falls, MA 01370, Shelburne Falls MA)
Turners Falls artist William Hays has enjoyed a long career as an artist, having practiced sculpture, watercolor, oil painting, and printmaking. Primarily identified as a painter, Hays learned the process of making reduction linocut prints (at the encouragement of his late wife, who gifted him the supplies for his birthday), and by 2012 he’d developed a strong body of work and a stronger conviction that he was in fact a printmaker. Salmon Falls Gallery featured his work at that time, and Hays has been showing his work with the gallery since. Ten years later, Salmon Falls Gallery invites him back for the first solo exhibit of his prints.
Hays makes prints of landscapes- many featuring New England vernacular architecture and other pastoral scenes, and his process lends itself nicely to the layered, complex images he presents. This exhibition features the artist’s favorite works and introduces five new prints not seen outside his studio, including two that are part of an extended series that uses the architecture of New England much like the Japanese artists used temples and scenes of Japan.
Reduction printing is a color printmaking technique in which a single block, in this case linoleum, is carved, printed in a color, and then carved and printed again and again, each time cutting away the areas that will not be printed in the current color. This is opposed to the multi-block method of multi-color block printing. The planning and execution of the method is painstaking, and since the block is essentially being destroyed by stages, the initial print run is the only print run. Multi-color block prints have their own unique visual charm, often with characteristics of both painting and linear rendering.
William Hays’ work has been collected and shown across the US and internationally.