Poem “Winter,” 1953
print on paper
Gift of D. Lee Rich, P’78 ’80 and John Hubbard Rich, Jr., Class of 1939 Litt.D. 1974, P’78 ’80
Poem “Winter” is representative of Onchi’s progressive, avant-garde approach to printmaking. Deeply influenced by the “new” artistic styles from Europe and the United States that he saw in reproductions, Onchi became well-known for his innovative use of unconventional printing materials such as string, leaves, wire mesh, cardboard, textiles, charcoal, and even the fins of fish. While the exact medium of Poem “Winter” is unknown, scholars of Onchi’s work speculate that charcoal, among other materials, was used to create an effect of ambiguity. This abstract print was likely part of a series called “Poems,” which coupled images with poetry. Onchi was a dedicated poet as well as a printmaker; his verses were often free in form, written in the same elusive style that characterized his enigmatic visual compositions.