Wednesday, January 19, 2011

"Walk on Burning Embers With Your Tell-Tale Heart" - Lou Reed

Baudelaire, Rimbaud, Verlaine, Morrissey, Patti Smith ...Today in 1809 (202 years ago) Edgar Allan Poe was born. In Poe's case, it would perhaps be more fitting to commemorate the day he left the room instead of the day he came into it.

In a case of perfect synchronicity, when I turned on my CD player this AM, I had found that I had left Lou Reed's "The Raven" (his "concept" hymn to Mr. E.A. Poe from 2003) in it. When I was a reckless imp of nine or ten years of age, (& could still claim a fair bit of free space in my skull's hard drive) I committed large portions of "The Raven" to memory. Overly dramatic recitations proved to be most excellent fodder for annoying any & all adults in the immediate area.

The wood-engraved portrait of Mr. Poe presented here was made by Barry Moser, & the black & red woodcut of the raven/crow & pomegranate was carved by the late, great Leonard Baskin. He liked it so well that he used it as the press mark for his own Gehenna Press ("Gehenna" being a word that roughly equals "Sheol," which roughly equals "Hell.")

Monday, January 17, 2011

Southern California Printmaking Exhibition

Diane McLeod had the four prints shown selected for the upcoming Southern California Printmaking exhibition at Palos Verdes Art Center. They are "November Bear," "Tundra Riders," "Floating," and "Species Care," visible elsewhere on this blog. The exhibition highlights some of the artists who have been instrumental in making printmaking a tradition in Southern California, with new and innovative artists from this area. Also features some national artists with different techniques - producing distinctive ideas on the traditional methods of printmaking. The reception is Friday, January 28, 5 - 8PM and the show runs through April 24, 2011. It's definitely worth seeing by all involved in printmaking.

CSULB Printmakers take all the LAPS Foundation Awards

Four CSULB printmakers won all of the 2010 Scholarship Grant Awards offered by the Los Angeles Printmaking Society's Foundation Scholarship Grant Awards. First prize went to Brian Borlaug, second to Alex Fridrich, third to Andrea Ueda and fourth to Lieghann Van Dventer. They were presented with their award money January 15, 2011 after the LAPS Board meeting at the home of a Board member. Congratulations on your accomplishments!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

"Color Between the Lines: Celebrating the Techniques of Printmaking"

The screenprint repro'ed here is by Jacob Lawrence, from 1944, & measures 13 7/8 x 10". It is included in this exhibition along with woodcuts by Werner Drewes; etchings by Leonard Edmondson, & Ynez Johnston; linocuts by Elizabeth Catlett; lithographs by Adja Yunkers, & John Paul Jones; wood engravings by Lynd Ward; & photogravures by Alfred Stieglitz, & Edweard Muybridge. The show runs from 1/15 - 3/30, with an opening reception on Sat., 1/15, from 2 - 6 PM. The gallery is located at 7321 Beverly Blvd., in Los Angeles, with regular hours running: Wednesday - Saturday, 11am-5pm. The gallery's phone #is: 323/933-5523, & the email address for questions or further info is: The exhibition will be coinciding with the Miracle Mile ArtWalk.

The statement below is from Tobey Moss -
"Printmaking is a risky business! The artist’s hand, concept and palette often result in startling surprises because of the physical efforts; the many types of available papers; the humidity of the moment affecting the viscosity of pigments; absorbency of the selected paper; the resultant mirror image from the printer, the pressure of the press - and the skill of the printer! Sometimes the print is pulled by the artist; sometimes the print is pulled in collaboration with a trained printer. These are only a few of the many elements that can affect the approved print - and the satisfaction of the artist.

My Gallery was opened with a specialization in Prints. Though we offer paintings, drawings and sculpture also, the love of printmaking is still a primary stimulus."

Perhaps she'll also proffer some of Jacob Landau's wonderful prints to look at (if so requested). The last time I saw my friend Jacob (who continues to remain a guide and inspiration to me), was at one of his last openings at this very gallery, shortly before his death. Despite the frailty of his body, his indomitable & fierce spirit was keenly evident, & it was wonderful seeing him surrounded by his extraordinary body of work.

Thanks to Erynn for pointing this one out! Thanks also to Tobey Moss for keeping printmaking as a passionate concern.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Marie Thibeault's Drawings - "Compilation"

Marie Thibeault's powerful and muscular abstracted drawings will be shown for 1 night only from 7 - 9 PM at the Post Gallery, 1904 East 7th Place, LA, CA, 213/488-1280. This will occur Sunday, 1/9/11.

Marie & I have both taught at CSULB since 1989, & she taught at both Alfred University in New York, & at Humboldt State in northern California prior to coming to Long Beach. Marie has an MFA degree in Drawing & Painting from the University of CA, Berkeley & her mainly black & white drawings allude to both man-made grid structures & biologically dense linear networks that intertwine with them.

As for the notion of the "Kamikaze" show, I think that generally, (especially for those of us who make fragile art on paper), it seems a questionable idea, that benefits mostly the gallery owner. I believe that the notion might hover around novelty, coupled with the frission afforded by the similarity to the University "critique" format. Of course, one can't escape the fact that most sales usually occur on the opening night of an exhibition. Ergo, to generate more sales, this somewhat one-sided strategy has started to develop. The politics of the marketplace.

I would posit that in order to contemplate, absorb & connect with work in a meaningful way, the viewer (this one anyway) requires a quiet & prolonged meditation with it, not a frenetic & hurried glance that (if one is lucky) occurs at a crowded networking fest at an opening. That said, I grant you, these are economically tough times to endure, & perhaps the only way an independently funded space can exist is to host these blitzkrieg openings. Sigh.

Since 9/09, Post Gallery has been hosting these solo exhibitions, one per night, based on a lottery-style drawing among the selected artists. Noah Thomas (who has former CSULB connections) follows Marie on 1/24/11, & two of my former students, Matt Ohm & Kristi Lippiere have also had their work shown the requisite 3 hours in the past.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Periodic Table - A Printmaking Exchange Portfolio

Anna Javier mentioned to me that she was considering doing this project about a year ago, so I searched the images to see if I could locate her print. While I didn't see it, Atomic #'s 73 & 101 really stood out from the other 118 (perhaps because they are relief prints?) represented. "Tantalum," the black & white linoleum cut, was made by an artist from Maryland, Jeffrey Heft. Natalia Moroz, who lives in North Carolina, created a color linoleum reduction cut for "Menderevium." The URL for viewing the entire project is:
96 artists from 7 different countries came together to create these square prints that measure a mere 6 x 6". While the overall efforts prove uneven, along with the 2 images repro'ed here, there are other standouts in the ambitious project.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Alex Gardner in Group Exhibition

Alex Gardner is part of a group show that opens on 1/8/11 at Rothick Art Haus in Anaheim. The festivities will commence at 7 PM, & wind down by 11 PM. Address? 170 South Harbor Blvd. - Phone? 714/829-8283 - Web-site?