Issue 25, Winter-Spring 1961
a Dane who settled here in 1950, is one of the foremost of Paris' growing number of engravers. His work has mostly appeared as illustrations (or “illuminations.” as he prefers to think of them, in the tradition of the medieval Books of Hours) in editions of one hundred to two hundred copies. The etchings in this portfolio, for example, are from a book of Franz Kafka's shorter writings, select-ed by the artist, which was published last fall by Gyldendal in Copenhagen. The titles of these stories and fragments appear below each "illumination."
That Bo should choose his literary subject matter is not surprising, for he is an avowedly ‘literary’ artist. “Almost everything I do,” he says, “begins with a word, a verse, or an expression... words which evoke dreams.” He believes the process of engraving peculiarly suited to the rendering of dreams because of the mirror-image and negative-positive reversals from plate to print. Right will be left and his whitest cutting will be the darkest black. As he cuts deeper through the plate's successive stages he has the impression of reaching more and more deeply into the subconscious of poetic legend.
Lars Bo's work has been bought by the New York Public Library and by many European museums including the Musee d'Art Modeme in Paris where he was awarded First Prize for Engraving at the Biennale de la Jeunesse in 1959. Among his principal publishers and exhibitors are La Guilde de la Gravure, Georges Lambert, and Galerie Varenne all in Parisand Delphic Arts of New York which is currently sponsoring a travelling show of his work in the United States. He lives with his Scotch wife and their three children in the traditional artists* quarter of Montparnasse.