the genius lines of dave lefner


Mate, have you seen Dave Lefner’s linocuts?

Yes. They’re linocuts, I’m telling you, this guy is the don when it comes to this form.

And what’s more, they’re reduction linocuts, which is like, the hardest type. Picasso created them in the 1950s, so printing legend goes, and they basically involve the artist/artisan/craftsman/idiot taking away one layer at a time, then prepping up that layer for each of however many colours they want to attempt to print.

So on top of all the usual issues of composition, colour, contrast, sharp lines and motivation, you have the added thrill of it being a one chance thing. There’s no going back – not for nothing is this way of working also known as ‘suicide printing’…

But Dave’s got it nailed. Now 20 years into his craft, his resulting work portrays an America that’s neon, shiny, precise and retro. And every single one of his pieces makes my jaw drop. And even though I already know they’re reduction linocuts a little part of my brain shouts “that can’t be a reduction linocut, surely?”

Take a look at this work below, ‘The Continental,’ from 2014. Aside from measuring 62” wide, it features not one or two but seven colours. So at stage seven, working from the exact same piece of lino, Dave could’ve messed up and ruined all the previous work.

But no, the result is stunning…




Anyway enough guff from me, go to his website and check him the hell out. He’s American, of course. And I’m not even deducting points for the Mohawk…

ARTS -2- LEFNER - process .jpg


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