Visitors of the National Library can now discover a new piece of art in the Reading Room, which was acquired two years ago and added to the Iconography Collection. Apple dreams by Diane Jodes is a monumental woodcut and the biggest piece of printmaking in our collection. The 2 meter by 1.5 meter large image was printed on extra strong paper that could withstand the pressure of a road roller. Regardless of this rather rough and experimental manufacturing, the artwork presents a unique sense of depth and originality, and shows the character traits of a masterpiece of modern printmaking.
The National Library of Luxembourg holds various iconographic collections about the history, geography, politics, customs, culture and personalities of Luxembourg as well as artists’ prints, coming from donations, the legal deposit and targeted acquisitions of works by local creators active in the domain of original printing.
Apple dreams was made in 2020 during the artists’ residency at Luxembourg’s Museum of Printing Kulturhuef in Grevenmacher. Woodcut is the oldest relief technique in printmaking for which the artist carves an image into the surface of wooden blocks, leaving the printing parts level with the surface while removing the non-printing parts. For this artwork – a reflection about the role of knowledge circulation from the age of Gutenberg to Steve Jobs – Jodes interweaves the different layers of meaning into a unique image.
By putting the Luther quote “Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree” in Gutenberg font at the top of the image and letting the apple tree grow from a heap of letters instead from protestant faith, she strips the sentence of its mystical and religious meaning, connecting it with the rise of literacy. The apple tree grows from a deep blue background scattered with white dots – the soldering points of computer circuit boards that ensure the connection between the lines and the ends of the components – illuminating the dark ground with the brightness of knowledge.
Further information on the artist and her technique is available in a flyer, which can be found next to the artwork.