I.13. Seven Apple Woodcut Series, 1983
Lichtenstein began painting brushstroke still lifes with apples in 1980. In 1981 Artforum 20, no. 1 (September 1981) (R. Lichtenstein 1981) reproduced his painting Red Apple (1981) on its cover, and Study for Yellow Apple and Yellow Apple were reproduced as a feature inside the issue.
Petersburg Press approached Lichtenstein about doing a woodcut project using the traditional Japanese method of printing with watercolor-based inks on Japanese paper. Colors are applied to the blocks with brushes and printed several times to get the desired intensity. Printing is done by hand, not through a press. Lichtenstein has characterized these works as “quiet and elegant.” (Lichtenstein, in conversation with Fine, March 28, 1983.)
The project was begun in 1982. The collage images were photographically transferred to the blocks and then hand-cut by the artist. The printing was done in two cities: Michael Berdan, who had lived and trained in Japan, was then working in Cambridge, Massachusetts; and Shigemitsu Tsukaguchi, master printer from Japan, was in Philadelphia, where he shared the proofing and edition printing with Diane Hunt.
(Corlett 2002, p.177)