Olga Blinder (1921 - 2008)

Lavandera (1961)

Woodcut on paper
height: 51cm
width: 41.5cm

Donated by Olga Blinder 1996


Olga Blinder was an important figure in the introduction of modernism in Paraguayan art in the nineteen fifties and sixties. Her 1961 woodcut Lavandera, showing a woman washing by hand, is a striking and elegant example of her work from that time, which often focused on the everyday labour of rural and indigenous women. The concentration on local subject matter and the intricate arrangement of line, shape and texture, very much embody the spirit of Lívio Abramo, with whom she had studied printing at the Julián de la Herrería Print Workshop in Asunción, which the Brazilian artist founded in 1957.

(Display caption from the exhibition Southern Press: Prints from Brazil, Paraguay and Chile, firstsite, 2011-2012)

Ian Dudley, 2011

Throughout her career Olga Blinder has repeatedly returned to images of women, particularly rural and indigenous women, engaged in their daily tasks of nurturing, creating and working. During the 1960s this often took the form of striking woodcut images where the figures are expressed in boldly simplified forms. Blinder is represented in ESCALA with three images of women that are both specific and universal. Ñandutí shows women as creators, weaving the fine ñandutí lace. Sÿ is an image of woman as mother, nurturer and carer. In Lavandera we are presented with a woman at work. The washerwoman squats at her task, filling the frame with the jagged angles of her body as she pummels the garment against a washboard. The striking profile with its open mouth and triangular eye convey Blinder's sympathy for the daily grind of the woman's life, and suggest a debt to German Expressionism via Lívio Abramo, which whom she worked at this time.

Valerie Fraser, 2008

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