Seria Ludo translates as ‘serious matters treated in a playful spirit’.
Simply cut and hand printed by the artist in his studio, the directness
and improvisatory quality of his woodcut technique is captured in
the above quotation. These new prints build on the striking new
developments in Le Brun’s recent painting. Colour, shape, touch, risk,
all these concerns continue, but colour now dominates, accompanied
by handling of confident and celebratory energy.
Seria Ludo is remarkable for the lucid way in which form arrives so
clearly from the method used to achieve it. With nothing but cutting
and gouging, and printed merely with the pressure of the hand, this
deceptive simplicity nevertheless achieves complexity and nuance.
Each print, while following the pattern of the master plate, retains
a vivid sense of time and spontaneity through the deliberate unique
gestural variations that hand printing involves.
When David Anfam writes ‘...their immediacy is layered, transitional’ 1
he refers to the underlying sense of symbolic significance beyond
their immediate effect which gives a coherence of tone throughout
Le Brun’s work. This is exemplified by how naturally lines by the 17th
century metaphysical poet and mystic Thomas Traherne serve to
accompany the blazingly yellow print from this group.
‘The corn was orient and immortal wheat, which never should be
reaped, nor was ever sown. I thought it had stood from everlasting to
everlasting.’ Similarly a line from the troubadour poet Arnaut Daniel,
as translated by Ezra Pound: ‘Thus the light rains, thus pours’ now
plays the part of libretto for all five prints
1. David Anfam, ‘Fire over Ice’, in Christopher Le Brun: New Paintings, London: Ridinghouse Editions, 2014
Christopher Le Brun