© Bill Woodrow. All Rights Reserved, DACS 2015

(Ag) 1994

Bill Woodrow (1948 – )


50 X 43 CM
Accession number


This series of works is based on the twenty-one chapters of Primo Levi’s book The Periodic Table, first published in Italian in 1975. Primo Levi (1919-1987) was an Italian Jew who had trained as a chemist. He survived imprisonment in Auschwitz, and The Periodic Tableweaves fiction and autobiography together loose analogies are drawn between the properties of elements and Fascist ideology.

Woodrow had been deeply moved by the book and when invited by Charles Booth-Clibborn to make a set of prints decided upon The Periodic Table, using the book as a point of departure. He chose to use lino cut as the medium was direct and relatively quick. One or two drawings were made for each chapter, the final drawings was transferred to the lino block prior to cutting, and the work proofed in batches of three of four.

The project resulted in book a portfolio and book edition both published in 1994 by Charles Book-Clibborn under his imprint The Paragon Press and printed in editions of 50 by Simon King. The work here is from the portfolio edition as represents silver (Ag).

Further reading:
Contemporary Art in Print, Scottish National Gallery of Modern and The Paragon Press, 1995, texts by Jeremy Lewison, Duncan Macmillan and Patrick Elliott