Although he pursued other forms of printmaking he settled on wood engraving exclusively in 1924. He said the following; “I find wood engraving a help in forming my own style. It is a medium which calls for discipline and lends itself particularly to the serious study of tone values, composition and drawing.”
Bergman’s work exemplified incredible detail and control over a wide variety of textures in order to exploit tonal values available to the wood engraver.
The print shown on the left (click to enlarge) is titled A Tribute to Beethoven’s 9th Symphony – 1936 (7 7/8 x 6 inches). It reveals his love of music by composers like Beethoven, Debussy or Ravel which he listened to while settling in to engrave a block during a long, cold winter night in Winnipeg.
Here’s an engraving of his called Still Life – Cactus – 1931 (5.5 x 5.5 inches). I really like the way he treated the background with his cross hatching techniques. Those passages appear painterly in approach rather than a mechanical kind of gradation in tone.
But we can be assured that his engravings are never left to chance. His work was always the result of careful planning and carried out in a deliberate and exact manner.