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Showing posts from July, 2019

Prints at the Grand Rapids Art Museum

If people go to Grand Rapids, Michigan, these days to see some art, it's usually to take in the DeVos-funded Art Prize that consumes the city every autumn. But by far the best art in the region is held at the Grand Rapids Art Museum. From the outside, the building does not look huge, but its three floors are currently displaying a refreshed hanging of works from its collections, and it's absolutely terrific. Every room has several great pieces. On this visit, I was pleased to see how many prints they were showing, starting with this woodcut by Ilya Schor.

Next, a soft ground etching by Magdalena Abakanowicz:
 Then a huge multicoloured woodcut by Susan Rothenberg:
Now a bright lithograph by David Hockney:
A screenprint by Jacob Lawrence:
And finally, a lithograph by Alexander Calder, part of a small but excellent exhibition of prints in this medium:
If any of these names are unfamiliar to you, I strongly recommend you follow the links from their names, because they each left o…

Paintings and Sculpture by Ahavani Mullen

A few weeks ago I saw a show of work by Chicago artist Ahavani Mullen in the beautiful space of the Chicago Art Source on Clybourn. Her paintings are abstract collections of marks and skeins of paint which hover between texture and liquid space, like pools of water through which float branches, sand, stone, and slowly dissolving ink. In the photo above, you can also see her experiments in transferring the discoveries she's made in painting to three dimensions.

Talking to the artist, we covered a range of topics: the process of painting; how a series of seemingly automatic gestures often arrives at the point where one large shape occupies the centre of the canvas/panel; how one knows when a painting is finished; artist's residencies such as the Vermont Studio Center; the importance of an artist having a studio.
Mullen's work is extremely subtle, yet it catches the eye immediately and draws you in for a closer look. To see more of her work, here is her website.