Saturday, September 30, 2006
Sol LeWitt was born in 1928 in Hartford, Connecticut. After receiving his B.F.A. degree from Syracuse University and serving in the Korean War as a graphic artist, he moved to New York in 1953, just as Abstract Expressionism was gaining public recognition. He found various jobs to support himself, including working for the young architect I.M. Pei as a graphic designer. This contact proved formative, for as LeWitt would later write, “An architect doesn't go off with a shovel and dig his foundation and lay every brick. He's still an artist.”
For LeWitt and his colleagues, Abstract Expressionism had become an entrenched style that offered few new creative possibilities. LeWitt began to create works that utilized simple and impersonal geometric forms, exploring repetition and variations of a basic form or line as a way to achieve complex works. Perhaps most importantly, he evolved a working method for creating artworks based on simple directions, works that could be executed by others rather than the artist. The fertility of this approach is demonstrated by the aesthetic richness and variety of the wall drawings, none of which were drawn by him. LeWitt rejects the notion of art as a unique and precious object. Formulated from an initial idea outlined in a diagrammatic sketch accompanied by a set of instructions, his works are installed on the wall of the gallery or museum by a team of assistants, who rigorously follow the artist's directives. Some instructions are simple and straightforward, and some are long and complex. By placing his drawings directly on the wall of the gallery or museum, LeWitt merges his drawing with the architecture, while also calling into questions ideas about permanence, value, and conservation.
–Adapted from an essay by J. Fiona Ragheb, Guggenheim Museum Collection: A to Z, New York: Guggenheim Museum Publications, 2001.
1. Sol LeWitt, “Paragraphs on Conceptual Art,” Artforum 5, no. 10 (June 1967), pp. 79–83, reprinted in Gary Garrels, ed., Sol LeWitt: A Retrospective (exh. cat.), 2000, p. 369.
Friday, September 29, 2006
Thursday, September 28, 2006
Was asked to design a poster for a Bachelor Party for a friend. Now the thing is that it's going to be held at a friends house and she wants it there. But of course there isn't going to be any strippers. He works at Playboy, so just drinking and eating.
Printmaking is a process for producing editions (multiple copies) of artwork; painting, on the other hand, is a process for producing a single original piece of artwork. Prints are created from a single original surface, most commonly linoleum, metal or wood. Each print is considered an original work of art, not a copy. Works printed from a single plate create an edition, usually each signed and numbered. A single print could be the product of one or multiple presses. Printmakers work in a variety of mediums, including water based ink, water color paint, oil based ink, oil pastels, and any water soluble solid pigment such as Caran D'Ache crayons. The work is created on a flat surface called a plate. Depending on the process used to lift the print, artists either carve or draw into their surfaces. Printmaking techniques that utilize digital methods are becoming increasingly popular and in many markets are the preferred method. Surfaces used in printmaking include planks of wood, metal plates, panes of plexiglass, pieces of shellacked book board, or lithographic stones. A separate technique, called screenprinting, makes use of a porous fabric mesh stretched in a frame, called a screen. Small prints can even be made using the surface of a potato.
Printmakers apply colour to their prints in many different ways. Often colour in printmaking that involves etching, screenprinting, woodcut or linocut is applied by either using separate plates, blocks or screens or by using a reductionist approach. In the multiple plate approach to colour there may be a number of plates, screens or blocks produced, each providing a different aspect of the print picture as a whole. Each separate plate, screen or block will be inked up in a different colour and applied in a particular sequence to produce the entire picture. On average about 3 to 4 plates are produced but there are occasions where a printmaker may use up to seven plates. Every application of another plate of colour will interact with the colour already applied to the paper and this must be kept in mind when producing the separation of colours. The lightest colours are often applied first and then that darker colours successively until the last one.
The reductionist approach to producing colour is to start with a lino or wood block that is either blank or with a simple etching. Upon each printing of colour the printmaker will then further cut into the lino or woodblock removing more material and then apply another colour and reprint. Each successive removal of lino or wood from the block will expose the already printed colour to the viewer of the print.