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Maker(s):Lange, Otto
Culture:German (1879-1944)
Title:Lady in Green (Dame in Grün)
Date Made:1918
Materials:woodcut in three colors on imitation Japan paper with Die Schaffenden blindstamp
Measurements:Sheet: 15 3/4 in x 11 3/4 in; 40 cm x 29.8 cm; Image: 14 in x 9 9/16 in; 35.6 cm x 24.3 cm
Accession Number:  AC 2012.298
Credit Line:Purchase with William K. Allison (Class of 1920) Memorial Fund
Museum Collection:  Mead Art Museum at Amherst College

AD))): In the forefront of the piece is a woman sitting down. The woman’s hands and arms, which are the same color as the tan paper on which the piece was printed, are elongated and distorted by the sharp lines of the woodcut. Her facial features and traditional dress are suggestive of Asian culture. Her black hair is held up and there is a black, jagged line on her left cheek representing blush. The woman’s black and green dress is formed by the same sharp lines and angular shapes as the space that surrounds her. The thick black lines exaggerate the shapes of the intermediate space and the woman’s dress while flattening the image as well. Although the majority of the piece is black and green, there is a blotch of red paint, representing a cactus flower, in the top-left of the work. The cactus flower, along with the green color of the background, is suggestive of a forest or place in nature. Finally, the artist’s signature lies on the bottom right of the print’s tan frame. (Thompson Lau '26 & Spencer Will '26 [voice])

Label Text:
Otto Lange was a painter and graphic artist active mainly in Dresden, Germany, where he became acquainted with the Expressionist ideas and works of the Brücke group, founded in 1905. Recognizing the tonal and textural potential of the woodcut, their revival of this relief technique foregrounded its immediacy and power to express deep personal feelings, psychological urges, and social consciousness.

Lange’s "Lady in Green" formally adheres to the aesthetics of the avant-garde movement, which reached its climax after the First World War. The seated woman is rendered with the same jagged, angular shapes as the indeterminate space around her. Bold blocks of color emphasize the overall flatness of the image, while the red blotch in the upper-left corner, a cactus flower, energizes the composition.

Gustav Kiepenheuer, a book dealer and distinguished publisher, included the woodcut in the portfolio "Die Schaffenden" (The Creators), a deluxe edition of one of the most important Expressionist periodicals, "Das Kunstblatt" (The Art Paper).

MW, 2013

abstract; female; dresses; fashion

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