Stencil, linocut and woodblock prints by Emma Bormann, 1920–1960, for 2016 book on her life and art by Bormann’s grandson (2015)
Austrian artist Emma Bormann (1887–1974) produced thousands of images during her life—woodcuts, linocuts, lithographs, etchings, silhouettes, stencil prints, and paintings. Best known for her work as a printmaker, Bormann studied art in Munich and Vienna producing her first woodcuts in 1917. Love of travel and the search for new subjects and motifs took her through much of Europe in the 1920s and 1930s, and to the United States for the first time in 1936. Her husband, the physician and artist Dr. Eugen Milch, left for China in 1937; she joined him two years later and lived in Shanghai until 1950. In the following decades she lived in Tokyo and Southern California. Her work captures the unique spirit of the places she portrays: both interior scenes in theaters, opera houses, concert halls, and circuses; and panoramic exteriors of crowded streets, squares, and cityscapes. Bormann’s distinctive style and unusual color palette earned her many exhibitions, and her work is represented in major museum collections worldwide. 42-line photographed 80 original prints and artworks for the book by Andreas Johns: The Art of Emma Bormann, Ariadne Press, 2016. Right: Stencil print, “Hong Kong Peak,” 11½ × 8¾ inches, 1950s–1960s. Below: Linocut, “East River, New York,” 15? × 21¼ inches, 1937; wood or linoleum block print, “British Embassy, Shanghai,” 12 × 20½ inches, 1940s.