Olga Blinder (1921 - 2008)

'Sÿ' (Madre) (1963)
'Sÿ' (Mother)

Woodcut on tissue paper
height: 52.2cm
width: 84.5cm

Donated by Olga Blinder 1996


In the catalogue to an exhibition of works by Olga Blinder, Carlos Colombino and Herman Guggiari organised by the Brazilian Cultural Mission in Asunción in 1969, Lívio Abramo described Blinder's work as 'profoundly preoccupied with the human condition' and in particular with human sadness. (1) This large woodcut exemplifies these qualities. The irregular shape of the block traces the profile of the woman's veiled head and sloping shoulder, and Blinder has exploited the wood grain to suggest the fold of the veil over her shoulder and the tension in the child's outstretched fingers, and to render visible the bonds of love and sorrow between mother and child. As the bilingual Guaraní/Spanish title indicates, this archetypal Madonna is also specific to its time and place: the image of sorrowing mother and anxious child stands as a suitable emblem for the many Paraguayan families struggling with poverty and fear during Stroessner's long and terrible dictatorship. The block itself has been cut from a huge tree, and the sense of strength and solidity contrasts with the delicate paper on which the image is printed.

Olga Blinder (co-ord.), Arte Actual en el Paraguay 1900-1985, Asunción 1997, p 111.

Valerie Fraser, 2008

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