The Carcase

power carcase

Cyril Power (1872-1951) color linoleum cut, The Carcase, circa 1929, signed and titled in pencil, from the edition of only several (Redfern 9). In good condition, with pinholes at lower left and upper right margins, and lower right, on buff oriental laid tissue, conservation matted, 9 x 8 (the sheet 19 1/2 x 9 1/2) inches.  Only a small number of proofs were made, each hand printed with the successive color plates, and these were, as is typical for the Grosvenor School prints, trimmed irregularly.  The illustrations show the effects of the application of successive plates on the areas outside of the borderline, and the trimming.

A fine, pulsating impresssion, a proof in three colors – blue, gray and green.

Power, an architect, painter, etcher and color linocut artist, was to achieve fame as the most important of the Grosvenor School artists.  These artists, including Sybil Andrews, who worked closely with Power, were essentially applying the technique of the color linocut to the Futurist idiom – a movement brought to Britain via Italy by linocut adherent Claude Flight. Power was teaching architecture at the school in the 1920’s when the linocut movement hit - in 1912 he had published a three volume History of English Mediaeval Architecture illustrated with his own drawings.

All this is quite relevant to The Carcase, a linocut which casual observers sometimes think is virtually a pure abstraction. It is in fact a study of a part constructed building – the Library Wing of Chadacre Agricultural College, which Cyril Power designed for Lord Iveagh.  (Of course it could be viewed as an abstract study as well.)

Proofs from the same blocks vary considerably in the choice of colors (and we know of one print made in only two colors, green and blue) making each print unique.