FRANS MASEREEL, 1889 – 1972, was born in belgium and is probably the greatest woodcut artist of the twentieth century. his work belongs to the EXPRESSIONISTIC style, – THOMAS MANN, EMILE ZOLA and STEFAN ZWEIG were the writers whose novels MASEREEL illustrated. when I worked on the adaptation of the musical CATS as an animated feature film in 1991 I used MASEREEL’S work as look-reference. as well as a lot of art from numerous german expressionistic painters like, KAETHE KOLLWITZ, MAX PECHSTEIN, KARL SCHMIDT-ROTTLUFF and EMIL NOLDE. the story was supposed to take place in london during the second world war, the so called BLITZ ( from blitz-krieg ), so I referred to a lot of historic photographs of the destroyed london from that time.
below are some of my earliest designs for CATS, the ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER musical, produced by STEVEN SPIELBERG in his london AMBLIMATION studio, all ‘painted’ with tipp-ex white correction fluid on black cardboard. I touched up the pretty rough white strokes with black markers. I know, it sounds like a very unusual technique – but woodcut would have been worse.
© masereel / andrew lloyd webber / amblimation / universal pictures