Tree Burst


"Tree Burst," also known as "Waterfall," is a color paper relief print by American Abstract Expressionist printmaker, Edmond Casarella (1920-1996). "Tree Burst" dates to 1958 and was printed by the artist in enamel inks in proofs only. The image measures 32 x 20 inches and the sheet of cream wove paper measures 37-1/4 x 26 inches.

Casarella was an early experimenter with the Paper Relief print starting in 1949. Some scholars credit him with its invention. Using shapes cut from chipboard and illustration board he built up the surface of a plate, which was printed by hand as a relief. By peeling, sanding, scraping, and carving the chipboard elements Casaarella was able to achieve a composition that looks both spontaneous and gestural. A description of this technique can be found on page 154 of "The Stamp of Impulse: Abstract Expressionist Prints" by David Acton, Worcester Museum, 2001.

Casarella graduated from Cooper Union in 1942 and was hired by Anthony Velonis to print serigraphs at Creative Printmakers. He created the poster for the 1943 exhibition, "Artists for Victory." After his discharge from the Army, Casarella studied printmaking with Gabor Peterdi at the Brooklyn Museum School from 1949 to 1951.

His work was shown in 1949 at the Laurel Gallery in New York and, in 1952, he was represented by Margaret Lowengrund's Contemporaries Gallery. In 1953, Casarella's work was included in the "Young American Printmakers" exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art and, in 1962, it was included in "American Prints Today." He received a Fulbright Fellowship in 1951, a Tiffany Award in 1955, and a Guggenheim Grant in 1960.

Casarella was an Academician of the National Academy of Design and his work is represented in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, Brooklyn Museum, Library of Congress, Cleveland Museum of Art, Worcester Art Museum, Speed Art Museum, Chazen Museum of Art, Green National Museum in Athens, and the Australian National Museum in Canberra.

30 x 22 inches
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