Tag Archives: printmaking

Print Month Update AND an Amazing Artist You’ve Probably Never Heard Of….

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.

As you can imagine, The Art Caravan’s (in person) 2019 visit to NYC for Print Week was jam-packed with great art viewing. Seeing Emma Nishimura‘s work at the International Print Center New York was one of the (many) highlights.

https://www.ipcny.org

Shifting Views, 2013, Emma Nishimura

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

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

Collected Stories, (detail) Emma Nishimura

Constructed Narratives 2013-ongoing series, 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

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

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 .

 

 

 

 

Print Month!

I know, isn’t every month Print Month?   ( I remember, as a child,  asking my Mum,  Why isn’t there a Kids’ Day, like Mother’s Day and Father’s Day?  Of course she said, Every day is Kids’ Day.)

For The Art Caravan and many art afficiandos, original, hand made, fine art prints are irresistible.  Once you get some familiarity with the world of printmakers, print studios and print shops, it’s easy to become a fan, and collector.

Each October, the International Fine Print Dealers Association (IFPDA) hosts a Print Week in New York City.   This year, Print Week has become a very accessible  Print Month of (not surprisingly) online programming and exhibitions.

Last year, The Art Caravan happily traveled to NYC to meet friends, and celebrate Print Week.  The main event was held at the Jacob K. Jarvits Center.  To say we were thrilled to attend is an understatement.  I felt like I was on a pilgrimage.

Javits Center NYC, T. Vatrt image

Javits Center NYC, T. Vatrt image

The second floor of the conference centre was devoted to booths from international and North American galleries and museums.  Artwork from Dürer and Rembrandt to contemporary artists such as Swoon were on display, and for sale.  It was exciting, inspiring and provided abundant choices for the IF You could have any Artwork on Display? game.  A few happy hours were spent wandering up and down the aisles, viewing artwork and talking to the dealers.  Here’s a link to this year’s list of exhibitors.

International Fine Print Fair, 2019, NYC, T. Vatrt image

New York being New York, the art community embraces Print Week.  What I assumed would be the main event is, in reality, one of many print-rich opportunities available in both commercial and public art galleries and museums.  Because of New York based printmaker Elizabeth McAlpin‘s knowledgable recommendation, The Art Caravan also visited the E/AB Fair. This year the E/AB Fair is sponsored by the Lower East Side Printshop.

Editions / Art Book Fair, NYC, 2019, T. Vatrt image

The Editions / Art Book Fair featured hand made print editions from individual printmakers, as well as print shops. The Art Book portion is dedicated to artists creating handmade books. Many of the artists and printmakers were present, and happy to talk about printmaking.  The Art Caravan spent several hours, over two afternoons, talking shop with printers and studying the artworks.  Click here for this year’s viewing room…..and enjoy!

Leviathian V, Marion MacPhee, 2019

Levithian II (etching), Marion MacPhee, 2016

I was particularly smitten by these gorgeous etchings by Marion MacPhee from the Glasgow Print Studio It was a highlight to talk with her about the studio, and her fabulous etchings.

Viewing prints online is not the same as seeing them in person.  The textures, the marks, the depth achieved in printmaking doesn’t easily translate via photography.  (Another example of ambiguous loss.)  This year, the experience will be virtual.  Maybe next year we’ll be attending in person.  Perhaps.  In the meantime, enjoy the multiple offerings of everything print at this year’s Print Month.

 

 

Loss, …and change?

It’s a time of great loss.  The death of the American painter, Emma Amos , adds another drop into the ocean of sadness threatening to flood our world.

Black Dog Blues, Emma Amos, 1983 artnews image

Emma Amos (American, born 1938). Preparing for a Face Lift, 1981. Etching and crayon, 8 ¼ × 7 ¾ in. (21 × 19.7 cm). Courtesy of Emma Amos. © Emma Amos; courtesy of the artist and RYAN LEE, New York. Licensed by VAGA, New York

Emma Amos (American, born 1938). Preparing for a Face Lift, 1981. Etching and crayon, 8 ¼ × 7 ¾ in. (21 × 19.7 cm). Courtesy of Emma Amos. © Emma Amos; courtesy of the artist and RYAN LEE, New York. Licensed by VAGA, New York

Baby, Emma Amos, 1966, oil on canvas, 45" x 50"

Baby, Emma Amos, 1966, oil on canvas, 45″ x 50″

Artnews has prepared a brief slideshow of a few of her works.   Ms Amos worked across several media, from drawing and painting to printmaking, tapestry and installation work.

Emma Amos was an artist, wife, mother, and (sometimes) reluctant activitist.  She was a Guerrilla Girl! Guerrilla Girls work anonymously to expose gender and ethnic bias, but Ms Amos did say I was once a member of a very famous clandestine women’s group that worked at night and did not ever go out without masks on our faces.

Howard Cotter’s article in the New York Times Is worth a read.  It’s a factual, insightful and compassionate summary of a very accomplished artist. He points out the significance of paintings like Tightrope, Equals and Work Suit.

Tightrope, Emma Amos, 1994, acrylic on linen with African fabric borders, 82" x 58"

Tightrope, Emma Amos, 1994, acrylic on linen with African fabric borders, 82″ x 58″

Equals, Emma Amos, acrylic on linen fabric, image transfer, African fabric borders, 1992

Equals, Emma Amos, acrylic on linen fabric, image transfer, African fabric borders, 1992

Work Suit, 1994 Acrylic on linen, with African fabric borders and photo transfer, 74" x 54" Image courtesy Ryan Lee Gallery

Work Suit, 1994 Acrylic on linen, with African fabric borders and photo transfer, 74″ x 54″ Image courtesy Ryan Lee Gallery

If you’re like me, you’re wondering why you’ve never heard of Emma Amos, or seen her work.  She wondered the same thing.  The ARTnews article about her career quotes her: I wake up in the morning and say, ‘I have one piece at the Museum of Modern Art.  I wonder, Is it still there?’  ‘You know, I wonder if I’ve been deaccessioned,’ she said. ‘And I wonder how come nobody knows who I am?’

As we all know, it’s time for that to change.

 

 

 

 

 

Out of control!

It’s not only how our lives may feel at the moment, but it’s how the artist Pat Steir describes her work.  Some of her musings about making art are surprisingly relevant to our pandemic times.  The chance in a painting is like a companion, she says.

As I said in my last posting, there are about a billion ways you can spend time in front of a screen right now.  (I find myself experiencing a kind of ‘screen fatigue.’)  This short video from Pace Prints is worth five minutes of your time.  In it,  Ms Steir discusses some of her motivation and the processes for making her art.  I’m really only interested in the performance of painting and colour.  The photography is effective, and a lot of intriguing ideas are packed into a few minutes.  She cites John Cage and Agnes Martin as influences.  It’s fascinating, and inspiring, to see her combine printmaking and painting in large scale works.

Pat Steir, NYTimes image

Good news and bad news:  There’s a significant exhibition of her paintings, Color Wheel,  at the Hirshhorn, a Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C.  It opened October 24, 2019 and is slated to run until  January 18, 2021. It’s wonderful that the work is being featured, but it’s unfortunate that so few people will be able to see it as all the Smithsonian Museums closed on March 14 for public health safety.  In the meantime, feel free to browse the Smithsonian Institution’s extensive on-line resources.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All Canadienne Art…..Lisa Tognon

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.

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.

Bonne fete du Canada!