Random Print of the Week #2976

Frances Myers (born 1938) Rescue, 1985 Woodcut 27 1/2 x 35 inches

Frances Myers (born 1938)
Rescue, 1985
27 1/2 x 35 inches

Frances Myers’ print, The Rescue, came to the Museum’s collection by way of the 11th annual ColorPrint USA exhibition that ran from late 1985 and early 1986. Myers, a recently retired University of Wisconsin professor and chair of printmaking and installation, exhibited nine times in this exhibition series.

In Myers’ print, Wonder Woman, the DC Comics Amazonian superhero, scoops up the head of a falling decapitated figure. She grabs the arm of the headless torso and, it seems, prepares to reunite the two parts of the body, righting a wrong with her super powers. The sharp edges and planes add to the tension. Another figure, possibly the same one as the victim of decapitation, lays behind a mountain and a flattened facade of evergreens on the lower left side of the image.

The contour styling of Wonder Woman, easily identified by her tiara (a super-weapon of super-versatility), recreates a persona familiar to comic book readers.  The carefully constructed picture plane read as sequential images from left to right. The sequence follows the white figure through the forest and mountains, followed by Wonder Woman’s display of power, culminating in a household lamp with the light turned on. The print is about heroics and specifically about the female hero, as portrayed here in the guise of Wonder Woman, an invincible, confident, larger-than-life warrior…and a paradigm for 1980s feminists.  Will Wonder Woman be able to reattach that head? Reunite humanity? Tune in next week to find out.

M. Glenn

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