Design Blog – Jožka Baruch

Jožka Baruch was a Czech designer whose artistic influence on the world of graphic design cannot be understated. His uniquely inventive style was primarily inspired by woodblocks and prints, displaying a special knack for transforming everyday objects into intriguing pieces of art. He studied ornamental and figurative carving at the Vocational School for Woodworking in Valašské Meziříčí, an area whose lore and folk art continued to be present in the enormous body of work that he produced throughout his life. Baruch also drew from the world of childhood, crafting wooden toys, book illustrations, posters, and advertisements, in which his mastery of innovative techniques is apparent in both content and form.

Baruch has a distinct lapidary line and his shapes are meticulously executed, usually dimmed by an ingenious system of interchanging hatches done in multi-toned chiaroscuro. Passionate about drawing, Baruch applied geometrized stylization to his wood engraving that focused on simple, readily available subject matter, such as plants and animals. A unique system of drapery folds over the solid and angular features of the figures, which he painted in watercolors and pastels, and in his woodcuts.

Baruch brought a quirky yet truly charming ornamental order to his work, which attest to his mastery of technique while resonating a profound artistic message. His interpretation of art nouveau and the blending of human figures with objects of nature and earth, invoke questions regarding the organization of artistic laws and the exposed and unexposed bond between mankind and the world.

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