Washington Printmakers Gallery Presents Amy Guadagnoli Cutting Through

By Editorial Team on September 4, 2019

Sat, 07 September 2019 - Sun, 29 September 2019

Amy Guadagnoli, Blind Wind, woodblock on mulberry paper, 12″ x 32″, 2019.
Reception: Saturday, September 7 from 3pm to 5pm

Artist Demonstration: September 14, 2019, 2–4 PM

Using a labor-intensive process, Amy Guadagnoli creates layers of bold but ambiguous shapes which cross over and cancel out one another. She embellishes each shape with patterns and bright colors. Much like the Surrealists who used art to explore the subconscious mind, Guadagnoli makes works that beckon viewers to find their own answers to the question, “What is this?”

“I like thinking of these woodcuts as visual objects in the spirit of Buddhist koans,” says Guadagnoli, “They are mental/visual puzzles that try to help the viewer cut through the fog and spark insight into how the mind creates the world around us.” Thus Cutting Through “refers not just to me physically cutting through the wood, but to the images cutting through our ordinary way of looking at the world.”

Traditional color woodcuts are printed from separate wood blocks, one created for each color. In a reduction woodcut, the colors are all printed from one block. Each color is applied in succession as the original surface of the block is cut away. Guadagnoli blends the traditional and reduction methods by using two blocks for the reduction. She spends hours cutting into wood, often cutting on both sides of the blocks, sometimes carving holes all the way through. The artmaking occurs slowly, by carving and printing layers of color, each on top of the other, for weeks and months at a time. While each layer of ink dries, Guadagnoli carves the next layer. She makes these prints without the aid of power tools or a printing press—carving is done with hand gouges and printing with the back of a wooden spoon.

The resulting prints have rich, often jewel-toned palettes on thin mulberry paper, and feel woven, like heraldic tapestries save for their strange, almost comical forms. Seeming part Japanese comic, part urban graffiti, part Jungian analysis, and part Buddhist koan, these woodcuts entice, challenge, and puzzle the viewer.

Amy Guadagnoli studied studio art at the University of Denver, graduating with a BFA summa cum laude. She has exhibited professionally since 1992 and her works have been on view in Colorado, Texas, Arizona, California, Maine, Washington, DC, and Lima, Peru. She has won numerous awards and was accepted into a residency at the Vermont Studio Center. Her works were purchased by Montgomery County for addition into their Works on Paper Collection. She has served as a teacher and speaker through programs and workshops at the University of Denver, City of Austin, the University of Texas at Austin, Georgetown Art Works (Texas), Women Printmakers of Austin, the University of Maine, and Husson University.


  • Thursday-Saturday: 11-6
  • Sunday: 12-5

Washington Printmakers Gallery is located at 1641 Wisconsin Ave. NW.