It’s print month in Austin, Texas! Print Austin offers a month of all things printmaking: exhibitions, artist talks, workshops, print demos – including a steamroller print event! – and more. There’s a wide range of in-person and virtual events.
Who knew Austin is a hub for printmaking in Texas? It makes sense, when you realize there are several university programs and professional print shops in the city. Here is a short history of PrintAustin.
PrintAustin exposition, PrintAustin image
Even though I am not able to attend this year, one of my artworks IS in Austin. (Does this mean I’m attending symbolically, as well as virtually?!)
Standing on their Shoulders (foreground) and wish you were here….(background), Terry Vatrt, mixed media)
standing on their shoulders, T. Vatrt, mixed media, internal view
The Contemporary Print exhibition is hosted by Big Medium, and the juror is John Hitchcock, Associate Dean of Arts of the University Wisconsin-Madison. It opened on January 15 and runs until February 12, 2022.
Have you been indulging a bit, or a lot, in Print Month?
Click here for the E / AB (Online) Fair and here for the IFPDA viewing rooms. The viewing rooms are wonderful: informative, and visually satisfying. They really are treasure troves, and lots more fun than regular on-line shopping! Just think: Helen Frankenthaler, Carmen Herrera, Judy Pfaff, KiKi Smith, Marion MacPhee, Joan Miró, Rembrandt, Paulson Fontaine Press, Zea Mays Printmaking….and please, watch the video about Louise Nevelson at Tamarind Institute.
Yes! This incredible piece, depicting the landscape near Slocan, British Columbia, is composed of cut pieces of the artist’s prints, wrapped by hand around the rods.
Shifting Views, (detail),2013, Emma Nishimura
In this exhibition, Paper Borders, Nishimura used the forced relocation of her Japanese-Canadian grandparents to an internment camp in rural Canada during the years of World War II as source material. (More than 22,000 Canadians of Japanese descent were required to live in camps in British Columbia. They were allowed one suitcase per person, and their homes and property were confiscated, and sold. Here is a brief summary of the Japanese internment in Canada.)
Nishimura’s technical skills in printmaking are exceptional. Note the exquisite etching details she executes by hand. The lines in the Constructed Narrative series are composed of text from historical and familial documents / papers.
Collected Stories, (detail) Emma Nishimura
Constructed Narratives 2013-ongoing series, Emma Nishimura
Nishimura’s An Archive of Rememory is a most engaging series. Furoshiki are traditional Japanese cloth used to carry everyday items, as well as gifts. Nishimura has made furoshiki out of her etchings of internment camp and family photos.
An Archive of Rememory, 2016-ongoing, Emma Nishimura
An Archive of Rememory, 2016-ongoing, Emma Nishimura
The artworks are wrapped, and knotted into paper furoshiki, to carry the memories of a Canadian family and their community. Her furoshiki appear simple, but are complex works. Nishimura’s sculptured vessels are made up of visual representations of memories of a community denied their homes and possessions.
furoshiki from An Archive of Rememory, photo etching and photo gravure on handmade flax and abaca
It’s a lot to absorb, I know. It’s disturbing source material. Nishimura’s expressions of her ideas are complex, creative and beautiful. If you’re interested in more information, and images of her work, I highly recommend her website .
The Art Caravan first saw Daphne Odjig‘s work hanging in the hallway of an elementary school in the north end of Winnipeg. Was it an original print? Was it a poster? I don’t know, and all that matters is that it was my introduction to this great artist.
Classmates by Daphne Odjig
Was it the Cubist inflections in her work that caught my eye? I know that her subject matter–thecelebration of life around us–has kept me interested in her art.
In Tune with the Infinite by Daphne Odjig
Untitled (Mother and Child) by Daphne Odjig
Pow Wow Dancer by Daphne Odjig
In 1973 Ms Odjig helped create the Professional Native Indian Artists Association. She is a member of the informal Aboriginal Group of Seven along with Jackson Beardy, Eddie Cobiness, Alex Janvier, Norval Morriseau, Carl Ray and Joseph Sanchez.
Ms Odjig is 95 years old. She talks frankly about her age, and her art, in this interview from the National Gallery of Canada.
Her work has been featured on Canadian postage stamps, and used as inspiration for clothing. She has received several honorary degrees, and has been awarded the Order of Canada. In 2007, she was awarded a Governor General’s Award for Lifetime Achievement in Visual and Media Arts.
Several years ago, Martha Street Studio/Manitoba Printmakers Association showed the work of Quebec printmaker/artist Lisa Tognon. The prints were beautiful: strong, confident lines, lots of textured space and subtle, nuanced marks. I found the work intelligent, interesting, and technically complex. As an artist/printmaker, it was very inspiring, and has stayed with me since then.
Denouement 5 by Lisa Tognon
Une Pluie pour Jeanne by Lisa Tognon
Algues Jour by Lisa Tognon
Ondee by Lisa Tognon
Passer encore Passer by Lisa Tognon
Bleu is a short video that shows the detailed textures of the work. Oeuvres de Lisa Tognon (another short video) highlights her work from 2013-2014. Not surprisingly, her work is available in many galleries, in Canada and Europe.
Along with printmaker Michael De Courcy, he created over 80 limited edition serigraphs (silkscreen prints) that depicted northern and western Canada.
He is probably best known for his children’s books. In his tribute to Ted Harrison, Robert Amos quotes Ted’s business manager, “Ted doesn’t need any promotion. Every school child in this country knows him.”
His artworks worked well as illustrations for children’s books. His stylized landscapes suited the storybook genre. As well as books of his own, he colourfully illustrated the two Robert Service poems, The Shooting of Dan McGrew and The Cremation of Sam McGee, which was named a Best Book by the New York Times.
Winchester Galleries has a magnificent Harrison painting, Realms of Gold, currently on display…..and for sale. (It was still available the last time I checked!)
In 2009 at Painter’s Lodge in Campbell River, B.C. Ted Harrison said, “So my artistic life is just painting what the devil I like, and I usually start by drawing the lines–and they’re usually curved, which I got, I think, from the Maori. All their designs are curved lines. So I drew curvilinear lines and put colour in them.
So you could say my artistic life is just a waffle and a wiggle, but it’s all imaginary.”
John Feeney produced a National Film Board of Canada film about her in 1963. It’s a lovely film, with glimpses into her life, and the process of printing from stone cuts. (It was nominated for an Academy Award in 1964.)
Kenojuak Ashevak received international recognition when she participated in the World’s Fair in Osada in 1970. She was prolific, and eventually worked in various forms of printmaking, as well as drawing and sculpture.
Kenojuak Ashevak became a role model for other indigenous artists. She received numerous awards in her lifetime, including the Order of Canada, and the Governor General’s Award for Visual Art.
She was born in an igloo on Baffin Island in 1927, and died on January 7, 2013 in Cape Dorset. She left an amazing legacy.
……the Nunavut Gallery is not to be missed. It’s in an unassuming building which is, I suspect, too often overlooked. (I confess I only visited recently.)
This gallery is like a kiwi fruit. It’s dull on the outside, and bursting with visual delights on the inside. Richard Kroeker has collected a treasure trove of Inuit art. The space is bursting with sculpture (polar bear sculpture, anyone?), prints, drawings and wall hangings.
There is so much good work in this gallery that I’ll warn you now–don’t go unless you’re prepared to be awed and amazed…..and have plenty of time. The collection of work is extensive (I barely scratched the surface of the prints) and Richard has a wealth of information he is more than willing to share.
All the ‘stars’ of Inuit print art are represented here: Jessie Oonark, Pudlo Pudlat, Simon Tookoome, Luke Anguhadluq and, joy of joys! the grande dame, Kenojuak Ashevak.
A final warning: The quality of the artwork, and the ridiculously low prices may cause you to buy an artwork…..or three.