Crystal Lake

Birger Sandzén

Birger Sandzén, 'Crystal Lake', nail punch woodcut, 1928.
Signed and titled in pencil. Initialed in the block, lower left. A fine, black impression, on cream wove paper, with wide margins (2 inches), in excellent condition. Image size 6 x 7 11/16 inches; sheet size 10 x 11 5/8 inches.

Sandzen’s nail-punch woodcuts produce a vibrant, energetic image that relates to the sensibilities of his paintings.
The Print Connoisseur’s 1923 review of Sandzen’s woodcuts stated “His blocks are treated in a rugged technique, carrying a certain sturdy, magnificent charm such as one expects to find in a portrayal of the twisted pines of the timberline and the high peaks. ... His work in both prints and paintings is full of the character of the West. His interpretations of the high peaks, vast mountain walls, twisted, wind-blown timberline trees, and vast stretches of prairies are titanic epics... intimate lyrics.”

Sandzen created his nail punch woodcuts or 'nailcuts' (his unique and most sought after printmaking medium), by repeatedly pounding a large nail into the woodblock, thereby creating a compelling, shimmering image, reminiscent of his highly energized landscape paintings.

Sandzen's graphic work can be found in numerous museum collections including, Brigham Young University Museum, Denver Art Museum, Detroit Institute of Arts, National Gallery of Art, Museum of Nebraska Art, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, New Mexico Museum of Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art, UCLA Grunwald Center for the Graphic Arts, Wichita Art Museum.

6 x 7 11/16 inches