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Showing posts from November, 2011

In the Studio: Day 71

I have been testing some non-toxic printmaking techniques, using a mixture of collagraph, drypoint, and other things to produce prints that look like etchings, without having to use resists that contain toxic chemicals, and without even immersing the plate in etchant. The following print was made on a thin, very cheap piece of aluminium flashing tile (cost: less than a dollar). It's sort of a random and jokey image, but it serves the purpose:



A - Dark aquatint style area created by pouring Z-acryl acrylic-based hard ground with carborundum grit in it. B - Where the Z-Acryl is thin and without carbordundum, it creates an area of relief that can be wiped clean. C - But you can also scratch or incise marks into the thin hard ground, and these marks will catch ink and print almost like etched lines. D - Drypoint. E - Chine colle.

I cleaned the plate and took a second print from it, which is also good to know: it means that although the flashing tile is thin and can't produce large edit…

In the Studio: Day 70

Getting back into the swing of things after a long absence. So, preparing some canvases:


And making some collagraphs using Z-acryl hard ground mixed with carborundum, poured and painted onto aluminium (or a-LOO-min-um) flashing tiles:


Leaning against the wall are some thick pieces of matboard which, when primed with matte medium, can be used for collagraphs as well.

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Interview with London-based artist Herve Constant

For my 800th blog post, here is an interview I did with artist Herve Constant in London in mid-November. Herve and I have known each since the mid-1990s, when we both had a studio in the same converted tanning factory in London's east end. Herve is a fascinating mixture of cultural influences - Jewish, but raised in a Christian context; born in Morocco, then moved to France, now living in London for thirty years - and his multimedia work is a similar mixture of styles and influences. This long-ish interview is actually about half of the recorded material, and in it Herve has lots of fascinating things to say about his own work and the dedication it requires to be an artist.

Philip: The first question I want to ask you, Herve, as I stand in the middle of your studio in Hackney, east London, is: where do you come from and why did you move to London?
Herve: I was born in Casablanca, Morocco. I left Morocco when I was about five years old and moved with my father and brother to the sout…

Text and Image at the Chicago Cultural Center

At the Chicago Cultural Center, the show “Write Now: Artistsand Letterforms” (through April 2012) collects together work that deals with the printed word, in prints, type, signage, photography, collage, video, altered objects.  
The curators chose work that played both with and against the narrative implications of word-based work. Michael Dinges “Captain’s Chair” is a plain white plastic chair, engraved with thin-lined black drawings so that it looks like a piece of scrimshank carved by a nineteenth century sailor. Drawings give way to obscure phrases like “Proximity is no longer destiny” and “Made in France, Found in USA”, which don’t really make it any clearer who the Captain is, or what story, if any, his chair is telling us. 

That seems to be the artistic maneuver of many of the pieces in the show: including a word that leads you to want to “read” the piece, then taking you into a path where meaning breaks down and you’re left with a series of allusive fragments embedded in a visu…

Older Prints, Future Paintings?

I found these older prints in my studio recently. They're from maybe 2005-2006, and they play around with much enlarged doodles from my sketchbook, and other kinds of marks. Looking at them, they seem interestingly similar to other prints I've made this year. I  wonder if they might even make good paintings.



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Diego Rivera at MOMA

Manual Labor: Diego Rivera Paints New York City: Teri Tynes has a great piece on her NY based blog, Walking the Big Apple, about the big new Diego Rivera show at MOMA. The picture is courtesy of Teri's blog. Follow the link to read what she has to say about Diego and his relation to New York.

Diego Rivera. 
Frozen Assets. 1931-32. 
Fresco on reinforced cement in a galvanized-steel framework, 94 1/8 x 74 3/16 in (239 x 188.5 cm).
Museo Dolores Olmedo, Xochimilco, Mexico 
© 2011 Banco de México Diego Rivera & Frida Kahlo Museums Trust, México, D.F./Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

She writes:
In a gallery on its second floor, the Museum of Modern Art has brought together five of Rivera's eight "portable murals" from its 1931-32 show, supplementing them with drawings, watercolors, prints, and ephemera for a well-rounded fascinating new exhibition. Rivera is a potent figure to reintroduce to a politicized New York art public, especially in light of his own preocc…

News about artist-writer-artist Dianne Bowen

they never become larger works, I use them to explore how I would like the lines to set up in the compositions of the larger pieces. they're thoughts of gesture and weight of line, thinking visually. the larger works usually don't look like these at all you'll only see inclinations lets say or suggestions of flow from one to another...

In addition to posting new work in the public realm (above), recent Praeterita interviewee Dianne Bowen is also featured in the latest issue of Whitehot Magazine with her collaborator, Kofi Fosu Forson:

http://whitehotmagazine.com/articles/dismember-night-gathering-the-tribes/2411


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Artist-Writer-Artist: Gerard Woodward

I am extremely pleased that poet and author Gerard Woodward agreed to be interviewed for this series. Gerard and my wife, Patty, were colleagues for a short while at the end of 2008, when Patty taught for one semester at Bath Spa University, where Gerard is a faculty member in the Creative Writing program. Gerard spent the spring semester of 2011 in Chicago on a reciprocal visit. Gerard has published poetry, short-stories, and novels. "Householder", his 1991 collection of poetry, won the Somerset Maugham Award in the UK, and his novel "I'll Go to bed at Noon" was shortlisted for the Booker Prize for Fiction. Of his most recent novel, "Nourishment", The Daily Telegraph reviewer wrote: "It is a novel to be savoured, and Woodward is a novelist to be treasured." It turns out that in addition to his success as a writer, Gerard started his adult life in art college, and still draws and paints when he can. So here, from a writer's point of view…

The Lure of Empty Spaces

Artist-writer-artist Helen Ferguson Crawford, whom I interviewed a little while ago, has posted what I think is a further revision of an ongoing series of connected writing and images. They are as lovely as ever. Link here:

http://helenfergusoncrawford.blogspot.com/2011/11/lure-of-empty-places-story.html

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Narrative Contact Monoprints: Day 12

Interview with artist Marlene Dumas

Via Kat Ostrow and Kurt Ankeney on Google Plus, here is a good short talk with Marlene Dumas, from MOMA:



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The Lucerne Project Ends

I took down the Lucerne Project show on Thursday and Friday. I took one last shot before I started dismantling the shelves:


Did I ever show the front of the Fine Arts Building on Michigan Avenue, where the gallery was housed? Here it is:


One positive thing about the ending was that, for the first time, I was able to fold up the 100 page accordion book and put it into the clamshell box that I created for it:



It fits very well. I also brought home the mailbox from the Special Event, and found that nearly all the cards had been used.

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Narrative Contact Monoprints: Day 11

Meditation on a Rembrandt Etching

Following on from the talk I did a few weeks ago on Alan Sundberg's etchings, here are my thoughts about one of the works that made me study printmaking in the first place.

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Narrative Contact Monoprints: Day 10

In the Studio: Day 69

After teaching on Wednesday morning, and still feeling the effects of some jet lag from the London trip, I went to my studio for a short while. I took a proof print from that collagraph plate I made a few weeks ago, using carborundum mixed with Z-Acryl non-toxic hard ground. It was great to set things up to do some real printmaking again:


After inking the plate and wiping it with tarlatan/scrim, it was time to use Q-tips, the printmaker's friend:


The proof print as a little spotty, where I had slightly over-wiped the plate. But the actual collagraph surface was really strong, held a lot of ink (inked a la poupee), and could easily be cleaned and inked many times before it starts to break down. It could also probably be diluted even further with water, in order to create lighter marks:


Pictures taken with my rubbish cell-phone camera.

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