Larry Dobens

Factory II, 2010, woodcut, 11 x 13 inches

Today’s landscape is littered with the remains of early factories known as the rust belt. My paintings celebrate these iconic structures, and the beauty of the scarred landscape they created, while calling attention to their awesome power.

Earlier artists like Charles Sheeler must have held a more optimistic view of factories as symbols of American progress and ingenuity – their promise of goods to improve human life.  Although Sheeler recognized that factories replaced cathedrals as a place for worship, he could not have foreseen the impact industrialization would have on the environment.

Overheating our planet, with a bewildering scale and ever increasing complexity, my paintings suggest the dangers of unchecked industrialization and asks whether it is worth it or not. 

 In these prints I was primarily interested in seeing how my paintings would translate in the graphic medium of the woodblock print.  I created this series of prints while working in the print shop at Hunter College. But what I loved about doing these prints is that I could both cut the block and proof it in my studio using a brayer, ink, paper and wooden spoon.

Larry Dobens website

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