Saturday, October 31, 2009

Hollyhock House Tours - Barnsdale Art Park

If you should venture forth to the opening of the 20th LAPS National this Sunday, 11/1 @ the Barnsdale Art Park (4800 Hollywood Blvd.) - do take the time to also tour Frank Lloyd Wright's fabulous Hollyhock House, located just across the way from the gallery. Wright, who died in 1959, built this home for iconoclast Aline Barnsdale, & due to its sharp angular planes, it looks rather like a Mayan temple. Tours for this structural wonder take place on Sundays @ 12:30, 1:30, 2:30 & 3:30 PM. The cost is $7.00 for adults, but well worth the price of admission. I recently did just that (see the "squinty" photo above) & had the good fortune to speak with an elderly woman on the tour, who had stayed in Wright's Imperial Hotel in Tokyo (sadly since demolished to rubble). Wright was often quoted as saying that he "...came to realize that the reality of a building was not the container but the space within." However, I think in all of Wright's dwellings I've had the good fortune to visit, both are equally exquisite, save for the kitchens...not so much.
Having also made the pilgrimage to Taliesin in Wisconsin, I was fascinated to read the back story on it recently in T. Coraghessan Boyle's book - "The Women." Boyle lives in a Frank Lloyd Wright home near Santa Barbara, & is the author of many other engaging books ("Drop City," "Talk Talk" & "The Inner Circle") that are consistently wonderful. As far as I am concerned, the man has yet to take a literary misstep.

Call for Entries - Images of the Virgin of Guadalupe


::: presents the 2009 VIRGEN DE GUADALUPE ART EXHIBITION :::


1) jpeg images of work and/or description of piece if in progress

2) dimesions of work submitting

3) date, medium, and title of work submitting

Thank you - we are looking forward to this year's celebration!
If you have any further questions please feel free to contact me @ 310.678.7403

jennifer gutierrez morgan

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

This Weekend: Shows At Home and Abroad

The LAPS 20th National Printmaking Exhibition opens to the public on November 1st, from 2 till 5pm. If you come early at 1, you can attend a tour of the Robert Blackburn show. Camilla Taylor (i.e. author of this post) has a collagraph in this show, along with many other local and national printmakers.

Gretchen Jankowski, a printmaking graduate student, is having her MFA show on the 1st in the Gatov gallery on the CSULB campus.

Paul Kaloper, a printmaking undergrad, is having his thesis show as well in the Werby. Reception hours are from 5pm till 7pm.

If you can't make it to the reception, the gallery hours for the CSULB galleries as well as the schedule for the rest of the semester can be found here.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Study study study

Brian B's studying setup for the midterm:

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Kitty Gal (She's So Cute)

Please put this one in your appt. book (old school) or on your Blackberry...I-Phone? Jenny Schmid is coming as the Visiting Artist for the Printmaking Area this Weds., 10/21. Her lecture starts at 5:00 PM in the University Theatre, & she'll be selling a brand new book about her work following the talk. I'll lay odds she'd be more than happy to autograph one for you!
As for this linoleum-cut print, to quote the Masters of Reality: "Don't she have class, don't she have style?" Titled "Kitty Gal (She's So Cute)" it measures 18 x 24" in size, & was being sold through Cannonball Press. Sadly, it's now SOLD OUT, but Cannonball does have other equally great images by Jenny on their web-site.

Friday, October 16, 2009


Corpse drawing from history of prints and drawing

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Corita: Serigraphs and Watercolors

Up until April 10th, the "Sister Corita Kent Retrospective" promises to deliver visual excitement & ideas for those of you who lean towards graphic design. Added bonus? It's in LA's own Catholic Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels - so you can expiate your sins (if you are so inclined). The location is to be found at 555 West Temple Street, 213/680-5200. While there, be sure to see the tapestries (based on actual people) depicting saints of various ethnic backgrounds & ages, designed by John Nava & the sculpture above the entrance by Robert Graham. You can see from the photo why this 3rd largest Cathedral in the world is also called "Our Lady of the 101." It is walking distance from here to MOCA, & easy to get to via the Blue Line, should you eschew the somewhat questionable pleasures of driving on the freeways.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Kara Walker x Victor Hugo

After spending quite some time browsing through the overwhelming archives of prints and drawings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art I came upon a 2005 print by Kara Walker entitled “Harper's Pictorial History of the Civil War (Annotated)” and a drawing from the mid 1800s by Victor Hugo the famed literary icon. Both of these pieces have strong political stances, however, they are both executed with such vision that they could stand as strong visual works outside of their political commentary.

Walker's offset lithograph with silkscreen appeared to incorporate appropriated imagery which was confirmed with a bit of research by the Leroy Neiman Center for Print Studies on the Columbia website, where Walker teaches. This print is devoid of color which would appear to be staying true to both the appropriated source material and Walker's vocabulary of using silhouettes in her work. The absence of color here also reinforces the political narrative on several levels. The most obvious of which is the fact that the civil war had a great deal to do with race and class issues. The lack of color also enables the message to come through in greater clarity and have a more jarring impact. Her use of the graphic silhouette on top of the traditional wood engraving acts as a bold stamp on to this historical print.

This stamp is the artist's voice shouting what the original is missing. It's the unheard voice of the oppressed for which the civil war was of incredible significance. The use of an anonymous graphic silhouette instead of a character that features more detail allows the viewer an easy access point to engage with subject matter that could easily become too difficult and alienate its audience before they have the chance to fully take in the message. The title of this piece (or more specifically the title of the portfolio that includes this and 14 other prints) is also an important element that serves to deliver important information and context in an efficient and discreet manner.

The ink drawing by Victor Hugo immediately caught my eye and I was further intrigued because I was unaware of his output as a visual artist. The drawing is made with brush and what appears to be brown ink on paper. With this drawing, Hugo exhibits a phenomenal sense of design and an efficient, expressive and confident command of the brush as a tool. One of the first things that struck me about this drawing was the sense of atmosphere and the creative use of expressive marks in the rendering of the image. The composition and design of the image along with the marks come together to deliver a strong emotional impact that is undoubtedly inspired by the turbulent political climate that Hugo lived in and his views, that lead him into exile from his native France for almost twenty years. Again, as in Walker's print, the use of graphic silhouettes allow us to bear witness to something that otherwise could be considered to graphic or macabre. In this drawing it also serves to convey a different emotion than if the hangman was closer to the viewer and in more detail, an emotion that hits closer to despair and isolation than shock and awe. The birds that are flying away from the hanged man also add to this emotion, but also serve to add depth in the narrative as if they could be the liberated soul of a martyr.

It is incredibly difficult to pick a favorite out of these two as they are both so strong in their own way, however, when forced to pick one I think it would have to be the Victor Hugo drawing. I'm a sucker for great atmosphere in art and this drawing is no exception. I also love the efficiency and speed in which it appears to have been produced, this gives the piece a raw, visceral and expressive quality that is so often lost in the refinement process. I also find it interesting that he did these personal drawings as a release and only later decided to publish them as an act of charity in the form of children in need whom he would invite to dine with him. It is also of intrigue to me to see the drawings of people who primarily work in other artistic mediums and how they can be evidence of how their minds work and why they are drawn to those mediums. This drawing shows us how literary Hugo was even when he chose not to use any words at all.

-rob brown

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Our Own CSULB Gallery Director, Kiel Johnson

The Mark Moore Gallery says:

"Following up his 2008 inaugural solo show with Mark Moore Gallery, Kiel Johnson invites us to step inside his compellingly prolific imagination with several new drawings and a large-scale sculptural installation.

Deviating from his trademark cardboard medium, Johnson presents an altogether different exhibition born of obsessive personal inventory and astute social commentary. Publish or Perish illustrates the rapid expansion of globalized communication and the subsequent dichotomy of a retracted sense of interaction despite a heightened sense of interconnectivity. Using the printing press as the overarching figure of information's evolution, Johnson constructs a type of archival environment that denotes the transformation of our personal relationships to the tangible, the local and the sentimental. Johnson's distinctive fascination with mechanization and fine intricacies is embodied in both his construction of an "autobiographical" printing press, and his meticulous ink renderings, which demonstrate the compulsive human need to produce, document, proliferate and authenticate histories – much like the artist himself."

The Mark Moore Gallery is located at 2525 Michigan Avenue, A1, in Bergamont Station 310/453-3031 Exhibition Opens Sat., 10/17, 5 - 7 PM, and runs from 10/17 - 11/14, Open Tues. - Sat., 11 - 6 PM.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

"An Eye-Opening Way of Looking at the Bible..."

For those of you planning on writing about R. Crumb's upcoming exhibition, opening on the 24th of this month, you'd be wise to pick up today's LA Times (Sunday, 10/11) as there is a review by David L. Ulin titled:
"R. Crumb Depicts a Biblically Graphic Beginning" that starts on pg. E10 of the Arts & Books Section. Save it for the research rewrite portion, & (if you can hold off & not be tempted) wait to read it until after you turned the 1st part of the paper in. Ulin quotes Crumb as saying: " I approached this as a straight illustration job, with no intention to ridicule or make visual jokes."

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Sweets & Treats - Prints by Wayne Thiebaud

Yummy! This woodcut, titled "A Slice of Cream Pie with Cherry," is one of many tasty prints by San Francisco artist Wayne Thiebaud on view until 11/2 at The Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena. Although minimalist & almost shorthand in style, this print from 1964, has much to recommend it...without the damages of consuming "the real deal."

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Monday, October 5, 2009

Shepard Fairey's "Hope" for Obama

I recently went to the "Posters, Prints and Propaganda" Exhibit at the Riverside Art Museum and was surprised to see Shepard Fairey's "Hope" for Obama in all its glory.


Sunday, October 4, 2009

Linda Lyke Exhibition

These images appear to be monotypes, but please call the gallery to be certain if you're thinking about basing your Term Paper for AH 365 on them. The gallery's phone # is: 626/799-5551, & they are located @ 306 Hawthorne, in South Pasadena. The show runs until 10/25 & gallery hours are Th - Sat
3 - 6 PM & Sun 2 - 5 PM.
I put the gallery link in the "favorites" listings, so you can see more of Linda's work, along with the work of my friends Nick Capaci & Jonde Northcut.