Linocut is a printmaking technique, a variant of woodcut in which a sheet of linoleum (sometimes mounted on a wooden block) is used for the relief surface. A design is cut into the linoleum surface with a sharp knife, V-shaped chisel or gouge, with the raised (uncarved) areas representing a reversal (mirror image) of the parts to show printed. The cut areas can then be pulled from the backing. The linoleum sheet is inked with a roller (called a brayer), and then impressed onto paper or fabric. The actual printing can be done by hand or with a press.

As the material being carved has no particular direction to its grain and does not tend to split, it is easier to obtain certain artistic effects than with most woods, although the resultant prints lack the wood character of wood block printing. Linoleum is also much easier to cut than wood, which must be carved away, but the pressure of the printing process degrades the plate faster. It is also difficult to create larger works due to the material's fragility.

Although linoleum as a floor covering dates to the 1860s, the linocut was invented by the artists of Die Brücke in Germany between 1905-13. At first they described their prints as woodcuts, which sounded more respectable.

Colour linocuts can be made by using a different block for each colour, as in woodcut. But, as Pablo Picasso demonstrated quite effectively, such prints can also be achieved using a single piece of linoleum in what is called the 'reductive' print method. Essentially, after each successive colour is imprinted onto the paper, the artist then cleans the lino plate and goes back into the linoleum, cutting away what will not be imprinted for the subsequently applied colour. []

Due to ease of use, linocut is widely used in schools to introduce children to the art of printmaking; similarly, non-professional artists often use linocut rather than woodcut. But, as Picasso and Henri Matisse helped to establish, linoleum is also a respected medium used for printmaking by professional artists. The first large colour linocuts made by an American artist were those of Walter Inglis Anderson, ca. 1943-1945, which were exhibited at the Brooklyn Museum in 1949.

elected Artists

* Irving Amen, American artist
* Valenti Angelo, American printmaker & illustrator
* Walter Inglis Anderson American artist
* Sybil Andrews English/Canadian artist
* Georg Baselitz, German artist
* Angel Botello, Spanish-Puerto Rican artist
* Carlos Cortez American poet and artist
* Stanley Donwood, British artist (most famous for his work with British band Radiohead). His work for Thom Yorke's album The Eraser was originally done in linocut.
* Bill Fick, American printmaker & illustrator
* Jacques Hnizdovsky, American printmaker, painter, book illustrator and ex libris designer
* Henri Matisse, French painter
* Pablo Picasso, Spanish painter
* Cyril Edward Power, British artist
* Ken Sprague, English artist and activist
* Folly Cove Designers American design collective
* John Paige English artist and member of the Society of Wildlife Artists
* M. C. Escher, Dutch artist known for his mathematically inspired works

ee also

* Block printing
* Gyotaku
* Printmaking
* Rubber stamp
* Through and through
* Woodcut
* Linoprints

Further reading

* Rice, William S., "Block Prints: How to Make Them", Milwaukee: Bruce Publishing Company, 1941.
* Draffin, Nicholas, "Australian Woodcuts and Linocuts of the 1920s and 1930s", South Melbourne: Sun Books, 1976.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • linocut — [lī′nō kut΄, lī′nəkut΄] n. [ LINO(LEUM) + CUT] 1. a design cut into the surface of a block of linoleum 2. a print made from this …   English World dictionary

  • linocut — /luy neuh kut /, n. 1. a cut made from a design cut into linoleum mounted on a block of wood. 2. a print made from such a cut. [1905 10; LINO(LEUM) + CUT] * * * ▪ print also called  linoleum cut        type of print made from a sheet of linoleum… …   Universalium

  • linocut — UK [ˈlaɪnəʊˌkʌt] / US [ˈlaɪnəˌkʌt] noun Word forms linocut : singular linocut plural linocuts art 1) [countable] a picture printed from a pattern cut into a piece of linoleum fixed to a block of wood 2) [uncountable] the art of cutting a pattern… …   English dictionary

  • linocut — li·no·cut || laɪnəʊkÊŒt n. design cut in relief on a linoleum block (for printing); print made from such a linocut …   English contemporary dictionary

  • linocut — noun Date: 1907 a print made from a design cut into a mounted piece of linoleum …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • linocut — noun A variant of woodcut in which a block of linoleum is used for the relief surface …   Wiktionary

  • Linocut — Линогравюра …   Краткий толковый словарь по полиграфии

  • linocut — li|no|cut [ˈlaınəukʌt US nou ] n [Date: 1900 2000; Origin: linoleum + cut] 1.) [U] the art of cutting a pattern on a block of linoleum 2.) a picture printed from such a block …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • linocut — li|no|cut [ laınə,kʌt ] noun 1. ) count a picture printed from a pattern cut into a piece of linoleum attached to a block of wood 2. ) uncount the art of cutting a pattern into linoleum …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • linocut —    Linoleum cut …   Glossary of Art Terms

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