Click image to enlarge
"Land, Sea, Sky, P. Vallarta" by Jacob, Amer., (20th Century)
Jacob, Amer., (20th Cent., unknown) Land, Sea, Sky, P. Vallarta, Woodcut, ca. 1950's-70's, Ed. unknown, 9-11/16 x 13-15/16, on brown chine colle, attached to a warm white wove support sheet, signed and titled in ink on the support sheet. There is a water stain to the bottom and lower right outer margin away from the image with a price sticker bleed through in the same corner. I have encountered woodcuts by this artist for many years, and despite several attempts to discover any authentic biographical information , even a conclusive indication of gender or date of birth, the artist remains a total 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 Jacob's cutting, and sometimes striking and delightful compositions and paper choices as seen in these prints reveal a bold and prolific artist who's work arouses curiosity to know and learn more. If anyone knows the identity of the artist and the story behind this body of work, I would appreciate learning more about the artist known as "Jacob."