Two women in mourning

Three woodblock prints by JACOB PINS (1917-2005)
German Jewish woodblock print artist and author of
"The Japanese pillar print - hashira-e" (1982)

Jerusalem Street scene with donkey rider
(Limited edition no. #12/25; 1952)

Bearded man
(Limited edition no. #4/40; 1984)

The following information on the artist is taken from the introductory note by Meira Perry-Lehmann, in the the catalog, "Pins: Woodcuts, 1942-1985", of the exhibition of Jacob Pins' work at The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, in 1985:

"Jacob Pins' woodcuts combine German Expressionism, which he absorbed from his teacher, Jakob Steinhardt (1887-1968), in Jerusalem in 1941-45, and the Japanese woodcut tradition which he encountered in 1945 when he acquired his first Japanese woodcut, the precursor of his future collection of Japanese art.
A German by birth, Pins had ample opportunity to become acquainted with the work of the German Expressionists, and his determination to be an artist - formed already at the age of twelve - is consistent with the nature of woodcut technique. As he says: "This is a technique which precludes any attempt at obscuring; every line and form has definite boundaries. It demands simplicity, determination and purpose." Pins regards the woodcut as a didactic tool, imposing restraint and discipline on the artist. At the same time, the secret of its charm, in his eyes, is a practical, prosaic one: the many years of economic hardship and close living quarters, the lack of adequate working conditions, and the necessity of working in relative darkness, caused the artist to prefer the medium of the woodcut which is printed by hand, with no printing press and whose strong lines overcome faulty lighting...
... The years 1946-50 mark the beginning of the Japanese influence on Pins' work: "I was always a collector," he remarks with a touch of pride or resignation. "As a child, I collected stones, feathers, stamps, and from the age of thirteen - books and reproductions."

While the three woodblock prints presented here are executed in the artist's "expressionistic" style, Pins had begun designing color prints in the 1960s, among them is a portrait of the renowned scholar and author of numerous books on Japanese woodblock prints and illustrated books, Jack Hillier.

Pins' large body of works was shown in numerous museum and gallery exhbitions worldwide. For much more detailed information on the artist Jacob Pins and his work, pls. vistit the website of the Jacob Pins Forum at the Adelshof building in the artist's native town of Hoexter, Germany.

"In the year 2002 ... Jacob Pins donated a huge part of his work to his native town. Thereupon, the town of Hoexter made him an honorary citizen, an honour that had already been awarded to him in 2003 by the town of Jerusalem. Jacob Pins died in Jerusalem on December 4th, 2005. - By accepting Jacob Pins' donation the town of Hoexter and its citizens accepted the duty to commemorate former Jewish citizens, especially all those who were murdered in the concentration camps of the Third Reich." (The Jacob Pins Forum).

Further reference:
- The Israel Museum, "Pins: Woodcuts, 1942-1985"; Jerusalem; 1985.
- Herzliya Museum of Contemporary Art, "Jacob Pins - Woodcuts"; Herzliya; 1992.