Jan Leth

Jan Leth (1932 – 2010) was a Danish artist who trained as a painter, worked with lithography and in his later years was well-known for his sculptures.

Jan Leth, Mur og Mennesker (Wall and People), 1968. Aquatint. Image from http://www.janleth.dk/flashsite/frameset.html

I found this print of his which I immediately liked. I like the way that the image is split up into frames, which makes us want to take in all the depicted movement at once, and at the same time slows the eye down. The deep blacks and painterly marks create a lot of atmosphere and energy in the pictures. All the ‘frames’ contribute to the emotional weight of the image, but the one down from the top centre (of a man’s whole torso with arms flung out) seems to be a natural centre – perhaps because it’s the most immediately identifiable as a person. My favourite is the bottom centre image, of a person curled into a ball. The bright light shining on the back makes their hiding position even more poignant.