Label Text: These Great Lakes and this big mitten shape are icons that will always be with me. The ways they look on a map are distinctive and unmistakable. Perhaps these graphic shapes are the inspiration in which I work—shape-driven woodblock printing. Mary Brodbeck 2008
In Mary Brodbeck’s work, we see the familiar coastal landscapes of our home state, presented in the bold, flattened forms of a foreign aesthetic. Her distinctive vision is born of an appreciation of the state’s natural beauty and printing techniques she learned in Japan.
Brodbeck recognized an aesthetic expression of place in, for example, the colors and patterns of Santa Fe—a “Southwest style.” This led Brodbeck to consider how she would envision a “Michigan style,” and to create art that was a true expression of this place. The result is a subtle shift in perspective that sparks in the viewer a fresh experience of these Great Lakes’ dramatic coastlines.