Bill Woodrow
Periodic Table, 1994

Bill Woodrow, Periodic Table 1, 1994

Bill Woodrow, Periodic Table 1, 1994, linocut on paper

Each of the 21 linocuts included in this portfolio is based upon a chapter from Primo Levi’s acclaimed book, The Periodic Table, first published in 1975. Levi’s semi-autobiographical work draws upon his experiences as a chemist imprisoned in Auschwitz in 1943. Each chapter refers to an element in The Periodic Table, relating the properties of the elements to Fascist ideology. Levi’s text provides the formal structure for Woodrow’s visual narrative. Each print is identified by the chemical name of the element and refers to key details within the text. The transformation of materials within a narrative structure relates this body of work to Woodrow’s sculptures exhibited as part of the exhibition, Bill Woodrow: The Beekeeper, in 2001. The portfolio later developed into a book.