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"People in Mexico" by Jacob, Amer., (20th Century)
Woodcut, ca. 1950-70, Ed. unknown, 14-1/2 x 9-11/16, on brown chine colle, attached to a warm white wove support sheet, signed and titled in ink on the support sheet. There is a mat line and toning verso from a previous acidic mat. I have encountered woodcuts by this artist for many years, and despite several attempts to discover any real biographical information, even a conclusive indication of gender or date of birth, the artist remains a mystery. I have seen a good number of prints, all either woodcut or linocut, printed on a wide variety of papers of differing weights, colors and textures, occasionally with a complementary variation in ink color and application as well. Unfortunately, the adhesive used to glue the chine to the support sheet is inferior and acidic, and occasionally leads to staining in the image. While I have seen images of a religious nature, mostly they are boldly cut images in a cubist style of southwestern and Mexican towns; often strongly patterned street scenes of adobe buildings and inhabitants in native garb. The vitality and directness of the cutting these works, and sometimes striking and delightful compositions and paper choices as seen here, reveal a unique and mysterious artist worthy of greater attention and exposure. If anyone knows the identity of the artist and the story behind this body of work, I would appreciate learning more about the artist.