Artist: Thomas Willoughby Nason, American (1889-1971)
Title: Summer Storm
Medium: Wood engraving printed from three blocks: black, grey-green and light olive, on thin Japanese paper
Limitation: Edition of 90 prints
Size: sheet - 9 x 12 ins (23 x 30.35 cm); image - 5.25 x 9.75 ins (13.5 x 25 cm)
Inscriptions: Titled, signed and numbered in pencil
Condition: Full margins, small black mark in right-hand margin, very slight fault or abrasion to image centre left (see picture detail), else in excellent condition.
A superlative example of Nason's meticulous technique and sense of design, demonstrating his brilliance at rendering light and shade (chiaroscuro).
For sale with the original backboard, glued to which is the completed exhibitor label entering this work into an Exhibition of Contemporary American Art organised and sponsored by Artists for Victory, Inc.
Nason was a self-taught printmaker with a passion for craftsmanship, technical mastery and realism. He built a lasting reputation for his sombre depictions of rural New England.
Nason first worked with Robert Frost in the early 1930s on a reissue of the poet's debut collection, A Boy's Will. Both New Englanders with a simple yet direct and forceful artistic expression, they were a natural pairing and went on to produce several volumes together including Frost's seminal Collected Poems published by the Limited Editions Club in 1950. Frost regarded Nason as the finest illustrator of his work.
At the outbreak of World War Two, a number of prominent art societies in New York formed an association known as Artists for Victory in order to combine their efforts in assisting the war effort and serving their country. The association grew rapidly holding art exhibitions and other events including an exchange exhibition of contemporary art with British artists. At its height, Artists for Victory comprised more than 30 constituent art societies from across the US representing some 10,000 artists including Thomas Nason.