Saturday, January 23, 2016

April (Vollmer) in Winter

April Vollmer’s work is a breath of fresh air. Despite this blog post in winter, Vollmer’s work carries with it an aura of springtime and the smells associated with the earth being washed clean, and new blossoms and tree leaves springing to life after hibernating for the winter months. Vollmer’s work is visually light and airy, delicate and carefully balanced, and it carries a host of historical references which I will attempt to describe for all of you inked up fans.

Vollmer works out of New York, and she teaches printmaking workshops in the Japanese mokuhanga tradition. (Look it up. You all know by now that I do not discuss techniques on this blog) Her decision to take a beautiful object in nature, whether it be flowers, bees or birds, or a combination, is her point of origin. From there, she multiplies the image and often makes carefully balanced radial compositions. The centrally focused image lets the viewer move around and around in a frontal, flattened pattern. There is nothing to distract from the object, and one can wonder why that is, but the reasons seem obvious when we look at Vollmer’s points of historical reference from her travels to Serbia, Japan, Italy and India.

Her design motifs are easily associated with design motif for relief block fabric patterning from India, the simplicity of Nature found in Japanese paintings and prints, and stretching is a bit, the radial patterns of Islamic tile designs and weavings from the Near East. This combination of elements gives Vollmer a good and infinite source of subject and pairings, especially the nature-based form of perfection often found in Islamic work.

Vollmer has established a body of work that speaks about beauty, Nature and the perfection of mathematic equations. What could be more perfect? As we wait for Old Man Winter to blow throw the winter, we can look at these gems and look forward to what Spring will bring. Enjoy!

For more information about Vollmer's work or to contact her, see: website:

Vollmer teaches at the Lower East Side Printshop, the Japan Society, the Center for Contemporary Printmaking, Pyramid Atlantic, Frogman’s Print and Paper, Cabrillo College, the Women’s Studio Workshop and many other locations. Her work has been published in journals including Science, Printmaking Today, Contemporary Impressions and Art on Paper.
Education: CUNY Hunter College, B.A. 1983, M.F.A. 1983
Publication: Japanese Woodblock Print Workshop, Watson-Guptill, 2015
Public Collections:
American Association for the Advancement of Science, Washington DC
Keiko Kadota Collection, Tokyo, Japan
Spencer Museum (Univ. Kansas), Lawrence, KS
National Association of Women Artists, NYC
The Vivian and Gordon Gilkey Center of the Portland Art Museum, OR
KIWA Kyoto International Woodcut Association, Japan