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2014-09-10

TEXTURE AND SURFACE DESIGN ARE BROUGHT TO LIFE IN THE PRINTS AND DRAWINGS OF STEPHEN ALCORN

Stephen Alcorn is an internationally acclaimed engraver, illustrator, painter, and musician; he is also a professor at the Virginia Commonwealth University (Richmond, Virginia). He was born in New York, but his youth artistic training took place in Florence, Italy, at the fabled Istituto Statale d'Arte.
From an early age Stephen demonstrated a well-defined artistic personality, one that would find ample expression in his earliest drawing, paintings, and that would later be expanded upon in his work in the realm of printmaking, more specifically the realm of the linocut print. Stephen, a "figlio d'arte" (child of Art) in the true sense of the term, grew up alongside a great graphic designer: his father John Alcorn ((1935-1992), one of the leading figures in American graphic of the second half of the twentieth century. Having lived and worked in Florence in the 1970s, the elder Alcorn had developed significant ties to Italian history and culture and history Italian experience. As a result of this exposure, Stephen was fortunate to be able to immerse himself at an early age in a wide variety of disciplines, and to embrace Italy’s rich artistic and cultural heritage; his first-hand exposure to the wonders of the broader History of Art would prove a driving force behind his ongoing investigation of printmaking techniques, including, but not limited to: intaglio lithography and silkscreen, and most notably: the relief-block print. 
In his graphic work Stephen explores the expressive possibilities of the linocut with splendid works, all the while continuing to draw with unbridled passion directly from life: drawings and prints alike reveal a distinctive and personal “mark”—one made of beautiful textures achieved through a confluence of intricate hatchings and hypnotically rhythmic, concentric curves. 
As the Director of the Summer University program entitled "Florence Revealed: Drawing At The Crossroads of Renaissance Thought and Vision", Stephen has the honor every year to spend the month of June in Florence. The initiative is to introduce students to the splendours of the Italian Renaissance culture. During their stay the students draw from life in the open air, in cultural points of historical importance. Across the teaching of the practice of drawing from life Stephen is thus able to continue to cement his love for the Italian cultural heritage. 
You can view an exhibition of his artistic activity through the website www.alcorngallery.com.