How is wood vital to Saar’s artistic practice?
Saar uses wood to create many of her most dynamic images of proud women, deities, and shamanistic figures. She favors woodcut over other printmaking mediums because pressing soft paper against wood’s rough surface creates physical depth in the print. “I love the idea that the paper starts conforming to the mark when you make a woodcut; the paper really starts digging into the space,” she observes.
Saar jokes that since she never took a formal sculpture class, she ended up working with everyday materials like wood, which she shapes with chainsaws and chisels. She relishes the life force that wood embodies. “The smell of wood being cut is just really beautiful and rich. That it’s a living thing is really important to me,” she says.
Artists at Work Video Series: Alison Saar
Artwork on View
Learn More about the Artist
Alison Saar creates artworks that frequently transform found objects to reflect themes of cultural and social identity, history, and religion.