Friday, August 29, 2008

Contemporary Art News Sources

You may have noticed that we recently added the “Printmaking in the News” feed to our blog’s sidebar, but we also wanted to keep you all in the loop about some other great contemporary art blogs and websites, some of which even have a special emphasis on prints and/or Philadelphia.

The Journal of Contemporary Art Online – which used to be a printed magazine, but has been a purely internet-based publication since 1995 – hosts upwards of fifty interviews with international contemporary artists. Among their interviewees are Buzz Spector, Kiki Smith, Jeff Koons, and Takashi Murakami. They also have a “Projects” section to their website, to which Renee Green, Steven Salzman, Mark Morrisroe, Andrei Roiter, and Catherine Wagner have contributed.

Fecal Face is a self-proclaimed “content-rich, comprehensive, multidisciplinary art and culture website supporting the art scene in San Francisco and beyond since 2000.” This is truly an exhaustive website, with many interviews and feature articles about artists like Mark Mothersbaugh (of Devo and Wes Anderson films fame), Ben Woodward, and Jim Houser (both Space 1026-ers). The website also hosts postcasts – mostly music mixes by artists – blogs, videos, and a large online store.

New Art is a blog maintained by several writers, and, as a result, can vary in quality. However, the articles, for the most part, do a relatively effective job of displaying artwork and starting discussions on the topics that the pieces raise.

Modern Kicks, although hosting average quality content, is the blog of all contemporary art blogs – a place from which to get some news, but also to connect to many other resources, whether they are other blogs, books, or websites. They even host links to our Summer Solstice MCs’ Artblog – an excellent place to hear about new exhibits, and read some brief, perceptive reviews.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Back to School Basics for Printmaking

I know many of you are heading back to school, I know many of my friends who are faculty are spending this week prepping their syllabi. Thought I would point out our new bibliography available through Working States - which is a great resource

And, I just got an email post today that pointed me in the direction of these really well made instructional videos out of the Minneapolis Institute of Art its Artsmia channel about printmaking.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Half Tone Surprise

Receiving packages in the mail from artists is always a treat. And, yes the multiple does allow us printmakers the luxury to be more generous than other folks. A slick half tone checkerboard patterned paper – magenta on one side, cyan blue on the other. I was expecting text or a poster with information, and at first it just looked like a checkerboard, until I realized that there were aberrations on the surface. Low and behold, when held up it revealed a face – Obama on one side and McCain on the other!

The package was from Jason Urban, who is now in Austin, Texas. Jason is one of the contributors to the Printeresting blog, and has kept in touch with Philagrafika, even after heading west.

Jason made an offset edition of 1,000 prints for a show at the Schmidt Art Center in Belleville, IL (outside of St. Louis). The show is a two-person show along with St. Louis artist Charles Schwall.

We’ve been having a grand time showing off the poster to interns and people stopping in to the office. The trick is that if you hang it in a window, it looks from the outside world like you are supporting one candidate, and from the inside another. Although, the one facing the outside world would be upside down.

Jason explained in a recent email conversation, “The prints will be shown in the stacked print tradition of Felix G-T. Visitors will be allowed to take one. And because it's a two-sided poster, people can take it home and decide which side to hang against the wall. I’ve been doing so many posts about Obamagraphics on that I felt compelled to add my own piece to the pre-election imagescape.”
Jason informed me that if anyone is interested, they can contact him for copies, which are available for $10 each.

some updates of other posts:

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Woodcuts on a Grand Scale to Visit PMA Next Year

Albrecht Dürer and other canonical printers will never lose their relevance and art historical importance, so here is yet another blog about yet another exhibit that features those incredible mid-millennium printers who defined the artform for us. The exhibit, Grand Scale: Monumental Prints in the Age of Dürer and Titian, is coming to the Philadelphia Museum of Art (PMA) in February 2009, after traveling to both Wellesley and Yale College galleries.

The exhibit will feature monumental-sized (for their time) prints: rare products of European masters testing and pushing the limits of the recently invented printing press. These were printed at a time when the limitations of a print (which were dictated by the paper size that the press could run) were in tension with the print-makers’ desire to compete with painters and sculptors by making art on a similar scale. As a result, these are ambitious, experimental, and both technically (most are woodblock, but there are also etchings and engravings) and formally fascinating pieces that are seldom exhibited in public.

The following excerpt from a Greg Cook review of the show hints at the visual power wielded by these works:

"You have to see them in person to really get it. In reproduction, Jacopo de' Barbari's 1500 bird's-eye "View of Venice" is a tight maze of buildings, ships, streets, and canals. But in the gallery, the vista opens up to about 9 feet wide. The point of view feels more godlike than birdlike in its all-seeing, all-knowing vision. You understand why the marvelous woodcut - assembled from six unprecedentedly large carved wooden plates printed on six unprecedentedly large sheets of paper - was one of the first images to be protected by what we now call copyright."

The exhibit features work not only by Durer but also by Tintoretto, Botticelli, Mantegna, and Titian. Judging by the roster of artists and the selection of works, these prints will without a doubt impress themselves on our memories, and remind us once again how indebted we are to the old masters for foraging new territory for us.

Exhibit Catalogue Available from

Link to exhibition information: Grand Scale: Monumental Prints in the Age of Dürer and Titian


The exhibition is organized by the Davis Museum and Cultural Center, Wellesley College, under the direction of Elizabeth Wyckoff, Assistant Director and Curator of Prints and Drawings.


Shelley Langdale • Associate Curator of Prints and Drawings
Larry Silver • Farquhar Professor of the History of Art, University of Pennsylvania


Berman and Stieglitz Galleries, ground floor

Fresh Pressed

A new enterprise and marketing concept just hit Los Feliz in L.A: a little screen-printing shop called Fresh Pressed that allows its customers to design and print their own Ts, totes, and whatevers. At a whopping $40 for your first item, the idea is still pretty charming, and, for the common doodler, quite alluring... but the potential for dangerously cheesy apparel authored by Hollywood Blvd. residents may dissuade you from fully endorsing the idea. That said, it's a great way to get people thinking about screen-printing, making art, and making it public.

Here's a video that'll give you a bit more sense of what the store is like:

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Philagrafika's Working States new bibliography

We haven't sent out the press release yet, but we are all really excited about the annotated bibliography that just got updated and put onto the Philagrafika site - take a look. I think it will be a really good resource for printmaking faculty - and if you have suggestions for new listings we'd love to include them. Just email me at

Here is the link to Working States
then, just click on the bibliography - you can download an pdf (15 pages) with active hyperlinks or use the html version which is broken down into sections.

Nostalgic Technologies

Soft dreamy crossed with quixotic imagery are often my favorite images...and I've been thinking about photogravure are a couple that came across my desk in the last few days - maybe you have time to take one.

Photogravure workshop at Project Basho in Philadelphia with Kevin Martini Fuller

and at the...

Robert Blackburn Workshop in New York with Savanna College of Art and Design professor Robert Brown.