Thursday, April 28, 2011

Printa Kucha lives on

Check this out-Printeresting reposted the images and text from Michael Krueger's Printa Kucha presentation, which I am super excited about! His presentation was an entertaining and spot on discussion of crappy printing and its legacy. Check it out here.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Technical Handouts

Hi all,

In the past, we have used Kevin Haas's awesome handouts as a resource for several different techniques-silkscreen, photolitho, pronto's a link to them all:

Also, I found this handy printmaking dictionary:

Here's an example:

BAT or Bon a tirer is a French term meaning 'good to pull'. When the image has been finalised through proofing, the final proof is marked BAT and signed by the artist. The BAT is then used as a reference when printing the full edition.

In case you were wondering...

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Junior Show!

Hi all,

Friday night there are two shows going on-your peers at the City Museum for Printcesses, the Junior Printmaking Exhibition, and the Painting Thesis Show at the Des Lee.

These two are conveniently located near each other, two minute walk according to google::

View Larger Map

See you there, on Friday between 6-9 (Painting Opening) and 6-10 (Junior Show Opening).


Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Ai Weiwei (born 28 August 1957) is a Chinese artist, activist, and philosopher, who is also active in architecture, curating, photography, film, and social and cultural criticism.[1][2] Ai collaborated with Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron as the artistic consultant on the Beijing National Stadium for the 2008 Olympics.[3] Besides showing his art he has been investigating in the corruption and cover-ups under the power of the government. He was particularly focused at exposing an alleged corruption scandal in the construction of Sichuan schools that collapsed during the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. He intensively uses the internet to communicate with people all over China, especially the young generation.[4] On 3 April 2011 Chinese police detained him at Beijing airport and his studio in the capital was sealed off in an apparent crackdown by the regime on activists and dissidents.


Monday, April 4, 2011

Inside Out

TED Prize Winner JR & INSIDE OUT from TED Prize on Vimeo.

Wunderkammer: The Work of Karen Mandelbaum

Rarely do we find an artist who dares to pursue their every whim, who tests the waters of every medium, who engages in random acts of play and fun on a regular basis. But today, we have found Karen Mandelbaum, a senior printmaking major whose work is a true reflection of her personality. Like the Dada and Surrealists of the early 20th century, she engages with everyday objects and subverts our expectations of what it means to be an artist, a printmaker. Karen began the semester with the aim of producing one "piece of art" per day. While she is perfectly capable of achieving this pace, she does tend to overanalyse certain aspects of her work. While self-criticism is necessary, too much of it has impeded her progress. The projects were less frequent than 'one a day'; however, she is still producing these objects of interest on a semi-regular basis (3-4 per week.)

If the idea of producing one piece per day is removed, the work has more ground to stand on, as it is inherently interesting. Still, certain questions need to be resolved - such as, "How is the work most effectively archived and displayed?" Karen's initial idea was to create a blog documenting her progress. This may still be in the works, but physical means of archival may be just as effective - like a book with photos of each piece, combining thoughts on the process and problems she faced along the way. The first few projects Karen made dealt with gender and identity issues. These works took the form of various prints. As the semester progressed, Karen became more interested in the everyday/readymade object, and began experimenting with these readymades. They still seem to connect with the idea of identity, but in a different way: this is the identity of an object.

Found Objects: Stool and Painting
These objects could be the modern-day lovechild of Roy Lichtenstein and Marcel Duchamp (Bicycle Wheel, 1951). An everyday stool is repainted white, with preexisting details outlined in black. The interior shadows of the stool are painted black as well, with hatching around the seat edge. This stark contrast gives the stool a comic-book feel; a 2-dimensional effect on a 3-D object. The painting of ships in a harbor was a thrift store find - this too was painted entirely white. The ships were filled in with black and the edges of the frame are lined with black ink, mimicking the comic-book effect of the stool. It would be interesting to see these objects en masse - a whole room interpreted this way would be very striking.

Toilet Paper Fur Roll
If Marcel Duchamp and Meret Oppenheim (Object, 1936) were involved in a romantic tryst, this next object would be their illegitimate child. Karen has taken a strip of white faux fur and created a 'roll' resembling toilet paper on a stand. I believe this, in conjunction with the aforementioned pieces, are most related to the Dadaist movement in their ready-made but slightly altered states; their ability to subvert our expectations and tempt interaction are what make them so Dada.

Felted Screenprint
In this piece, wool is felted to a star-specked, midnight-blue screenprinted square. This piece calls to mind the poem-objects of the Father of Surrealism: Andre Breton, in which unrelated elements (both ready-made and created) were brought together to spark a conversation, usually aided by short lines of verse. The viewer is left to make a connection between the unrelated parts, which becomes more abstract if text is not included. There is something quietly poetic about this piece, as the wool is just entering the printed image, like hairy plasma travelling through a constellation. To be quite honest, I still don't know what it means/is but I hardly think that matters.

Emoticon Prints
Two collograph prints are included in this body of play/work, Karen's "self portraits," in which her facial features are reduced to two dots for eyes and a curved line for a mouth - curved up for a smile, down for a frown. She has stated before that the inspiration for these pieces comes from a book about the psychology of comics, and how faces are often reduced to their most basic forms in order to easily convey an emotion and to allow for readers to place themselves within the comic. I see them as a comment on the internet usage of 'emoticons', or pairings of keyboard symbols in order to create a sideways face - such as :) or :( , for happy and sad respectively. In regards to Dadaism, I see them in light of Phillipe Soupault's Portrait d'un imbecile; a piece in which the viewer literally became the subject (and the butt of the joke.)

Drag Makeup Prints
Karen's brief foray into the exploration of gender/identity issues, and indeed her long-standing obsession with RuPaul's Drag Race led to the creation of these two prints. She applied full drag makeup, then after a performance, pressed her face to a sheet of paper to create a monoprint of the utmost untraditional. I see these pieces as the least related to the body of work; they function well on their own but seem small and out of place when in juxtaposition with the other pieces featured... Number could be an issue as well, I believe they would function better if there were more than two. However, they show a progression of ideas.

Last but not Least, Felted Objects
Karen's latest hobby is felting. This has led to the production of a life-sized set of barbells and bones out of black and white felt, respectively. These items, not pleasantly soft in real life, are transformed into lightweight and almost cuddly little crafts that spark curiosity and betray reality. As with Man Ray's readymade Gift, they subvert our ideas about what bones and barbells should look/feel like; their original purpose is destroyed.

Related Artists:
Man Ray
Marcel Duchamp
Meret Oppenheim
Ray Lichtenstein

Artists to check out:
Pierre Pinoncelli
-Artists of the Fluxus movement:
Alison Knowles
Robert Watts
Dieter Roth

Mark Jenkins

Friday, April 1, 2011

Save the Date!


“Kiss derives from the Sanskrit word cusati, which means ‘he sucks.’ It is a derivative of primitive mother-child behavior where mothers premasticated food and then “kissed” their infants to feed them.”

When you enter into the installation space, Siena’s installation seems to be about dualities: light and dark, reflection and shadow, and the synthetic versus organic. These straws do not make harsh angles, yet the installation seems mechanical. Maybe, it’s a consequence of the straws’ accordion-fold junctures. At first it seems like it’s these connections that allow for flexibility, and the installations ability to build out in any direction. However, it's these connections that allow for the flexibility of an individual straw that becomes restrictive when part of a larger group, working as a larger system.

The installation bridges together both the labyrinths of Sienna’s past drawings and her Kiss mapping project. In the Kiss project she created ways to map out the histories and relations of our own kisses. In the past, Siena has played with generational image-making, remaking, and reworking similar patterns. This installation is a powerful use of repetition, both materially and conceptually. She de-romanticizes the word and action of “kiss”, by giving us the etymoloygy of the word. Kiss, as understood through the scientific, anthropological lens.

But, what kind of line is this, and how does this mark-making tie into the etymology of kiss? The line, like I said earlier, feels mechanical. When I see people in the space, it reminds me of something else. It reminds me of the angry, scribble cloud above a cartoon character: this is Charlie Brown, frustrated

But why grey scale, and why keep the fields of white and grey separated? Why not entangled continuing the transformation? Is it supposed to be light and shadow, the image and it’s reflection, the original and its simulacrum?

In the past, Sienna has often referenced the idea of chaos and it’s definition of nothingness. She’s addressed the question, visually, of what it means to have organized chaos, organized nothingness.

The installation is created by a mass of straws. They have been painted white and grey. The original surface of the straw is no longer visible. In fact, it almost looks metallic, a transformation from plastic to metal. Also, the straw has lost its original function. It’s an impractical invention. In that way, the installation is fantastical, a super-crazy, extended straw!

It teeters between the scientific and the fantastical. It's reminiscent of the Terry Gilliam film, Brazil. Where these systems, through their exaggeration, become improbable, absurd, and nonsensical. A once rational, everyday object, has become transformed. Through repetition and alteration, it has become a system, a system that no longer can complete its original function. We can see this where the straws connects. In some places, they have dented from pressure. The installation calls attention to the idea of a human interaction, an extremely intimate one, replaced by a machine.

One of the most exciting parts of the installation is where, like with Jenn Rich’s final piece from last semester, the work seamlessly becomes part of the environment, the gallery wall. The straws leading into the wall are cut at an angle, creating the illusion that they continue on the other side. That maybe there’s an enormous, beautiful mass that exists out of sight, but only hinted at from our side of the wall.

The installation is enjoyable both from a distance and also invites intimacy. It begs us to come closer, to investigate, and see how it’s constructed. Sienna’s installation teases us. Can we decipher where it begins, and ends? Or if that even matters.

My one concern, is that since this installation draws you in, and invites curiosity, that an extreme attention to craft will be important. Does she want us to note the fallibility of its construction? Does she want to hint at the original straws colors? Is it supposed to be uniform and seamless? Although Sienna Baldi's installation is beautiful, it does leave a question of whether the separation of the white and grey creates the tension she's looking for, or if it leaves it feeling unfinished.

Artists to think about:

Art 21 : episode - Structures : Matthew Ritchie

submitted by: Becca Moore