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Linda Schwarz

Linda Schwarz refers to her subject matter as "lost language—forgotten knowledge." In her work she draws inspiration from old manuscripts, either well-known, as in those of the composer Johann Sebastian Bach, or obscure, such as the Materia Medica of Dioskurides, a compendium of botanical and pharmacological knowledge by one of the most important medical authors of Antiquity.


Her manner of bringing these sources forward to the present reflects her enthusiasm for experimentation. She focuses not merely on the texts but also their physical manifestation as marks on paper, which fade, blur, and deteriorate over time in concert with knowledge and memory. Contrary to scientific and technological methods now used to save old manuscripts, Schwarz "ages" her prints by overprinting them with inks, paints, and shellac. In doing so she also subverts the convention in book production and printmaking of editions composed of multiple identical copies. Each print in her editions is unique, literally given a "life" of its own.


Dan Strong, Assistant Curator, Faulkener Gallery, Grinnell College 2002

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