Woodcut on Chinese rice paper Image size: 71,5 x 99,5 cm Paper size: 81,5 x 110 cm Edition of 15 Signed and numbered on recto
The woodcut Stage Motifs I goes back to a series of drawings and maquettes with which Dirk Zoete gained fame in 2017 during his solo exhibition at SMAK. We see a miniature theater which is bordered by the serrated edge of a stage frame. Within this frame, a wondrous world of birds, cages, human figures floating in rickety boats, a mask and a bunch of mowing peasants unfolds. They circle around a strange construction that is midway between a ship (on scaffolding) and a house (with a smoking chimney).
Critics have found references in Dirk Zoete's work to the Russian avant-garde (Malevich), the Bauhaus theater, and also see connections to the visual language of Bruegel.
Just as in a number of his chalk drawings on black ground, the lines are cut out on the wooden board: the figures appear in negative and it is the background that is covered with deep blue ink. The wood engraving was cut by the artist and the full edition of 15 copies was printed by Dirk Zoete himself in Ghent.