Sunday, August 22, 2010

Moku Hanga Demo with Eva Pietzcker Today

Thanks to everyone who turned out last night for the opening of Eva Pietzcker's new show.  A reminder that Eva is back in the gallery today for a talk and demonstration of the traditional techniques of Japanese-style woodblock printmaking.  It's raining in Seattle, so a perfect afternoon to spend sipping wine and getting to know this talented, thoughtful artist.  Pictures soon to come.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Eva Pietzcker at Cullom Gallery this Weekend

Moving Trees.  Moku hanga (Japanese-style woodblock print). 9-1/2 x 9-7/8 inches.  Edition 20
We are getting the finishing touches on what is proving to be a beautiful exhibit, Revealing the Root: Moku Hanga by Eva Pietzcker, which opens at Cullom Gallery this Saturday, August 21st.  Stop by for the opening reception from 6 to 9 pm and meet Eva who is making her first trip to Seattle for the occasion!  The sixteen ethereal woodblock prints on view are all hand-printed with water-based inks in the traditional Japanese moku hanga manner.  These prints, even more so that those in last year's show here, truly reduce the landscape to its very essence.  In her statement Eva has said that she seeks to "reconnect to the root and reveal a vital energy" (as embodied in) "foundational stone, waves or mountains."  That's what I see in these prints too, thus my title, Revealing the Root....

Winter Lake.  Moku hanga (Japanese-style woodblock print) 26-3/8 x 18-1/2 inches.  Edition 20.
Eva bases her prints on plein air impressions rendered in sumi-e sketches and gathered during travels, most recently in and around the Baltic Sea, the Rhine River, Crete, Ontario, and her homebase of Berlin.  Lately Eva has also shared with me her new-found affinity to the lighter-than-air landscape paintings of 14th century Chinese painters of the Yuan Dynasty.  Kind of a twins-separated-at-birth feeling for her it sounds like.

But wait!  There's more.  Eva is sticking around after the Saturday opening and on Sunday August 22nd, she will give a talk and moku hanga demonstration at Cullom Gallery at 1 pm .  In the last few years Eva has been called on frequently as an instructor and Visiting Artist.  In 2009 and earlier this year, she was a Visiting Artist at Montana State University, the Rhode Island School of Design, and the Institute for East Asian Art at the University of Heidelberg, Germany. Please pass this on to all your printmaking friends.  I expect Eva will treat us to a clear and insightful demonstration.

Revealing the Root: Moku Hanga by Eva Pietzcker
Opening Reception: Saturday, August 21, 6 to 9pm
Artist's Talk and Moku Hanga printmaking demonstration, Sunday August 22, 1 pm
See the show online beginning August 21 at
Cullom Gallery
603 S Main Street
Seattle, WA  98104

Too Sexy for Their Own Paper

Hirokatsu Hijukata | Poster for a fashion show presenting paper dresses
Graphis Annual 68/69
I found this illustration on the wonderful blog, Aqua Velvet, in a post by Portland-based mid-century design expert Sandi Vincent.  I could eat this and all the amazing posters she highlights by 1960s Japanese graphic artists .  I will certainly be looking for more on those she has mentioned: Hirokatsu Hijukata, Hiroshi Tanaka, Hisami Kunitake, Tadanori Yokoo, and more.  Yum!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Busman's Date Night - Print Zero Highlights

It was a good, hot night on Saturday for the opening of Print Zero's Print Exchange #7.  Dan and I started with dinner - Catfish Po'Boy, Brisket Sandwich, and ice cold margaritas - on the patio at Hudson, then headed up to the show.  As his fans would expect, Brian Lane
(2nd from left) had found the perfect tee-shirt for the occasion and as promised, 227 prints in all manner of media, hung in the halls of Print Zero.  I find that in these occasions I am often drawn to non-woodcut prints.  Though I have a reasonable background in the history of all print media, more recently I've spent my print time considering the finer points of woodblock prints alone and the wide range of possibilities that the form offers print artists.  But when faced with dozens of stylistically different silkscreens, digital, and intaglio-based prints, I react much like the other people browsing the walls, "Wow! how did she do that?"  Also, its not often that you get to experience such a large and diverse group of prints in one close setting.  A few of my favorites below:

Carolyn J. Leicht.  Sidewalk Naturalist.  Screenprint

(Center) Wuon-Gean Ho.  Fractured Mask III.  Silkscreen.

Richard Repasky.  Vow-Murder, Death and Other Funny Things.  Photopolymer Intaglio

Bouchei Marina.  Untitled.  Collograph
Peter Foucault.  Hyperbola.  Found letterpress, digital relief

The dedication and amount of work that Print Zero founders, Brian Lane and Jeremy Cody have put into their print exchange is inspiring.  Lately I've also been talking to Richard Steiner, founder of the KIWA collection of contemporary Japanese woodblock prints and associated print exhibits in Kyoto, and there too I am struck by KIWA's success at shining a light on and effectively fostering the growth of moku hanga printmaking worldwide. Things like this come together a lot quicker than museum exhibits, and show us growth and trends in printmaking in a more raw, and I think sometimes more exciting way.  

(Second down on right) Annie Bissett.  Lost in Translation (Wampum).  Japanese woodblock print.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Print Zero Exchange Opens Saturday

Michelle Brownridge.  "5:30"  Stone Litho and Inkjet
After I drink beer with everyone at my gallery on Saturday, I am headed to Georgetown for the Opening Party of Print Zero Studio's Print Exchange #7.  Founders, Brian Lane - artist and overall hub/magnet/man-on-the-street for all things print in Seattle, and the equally stellar Jeremy Cody, started Print Zero Studios in 2003 as a small print exchange.  Since then is has grown to a fully-operating print studio with space for rent.  And the print exchange has blossomed and grown like an August zucchini, this year including the work of 227 artists from 15 countries (one being a print by Cullom Gallery's own Annie Bissett from her recently completed series, We Are Pilgrims, which will show here in October & November, 2010).  In years past the exchange has toured venues in Seattle WA, Portland OR, Miami FL, Homer AK, Laramie WY, Buffalo NY, Madison WI, and Naestved, Denmark.  Check out their site for information about this year's exchange including the tour schedule and catalog orders.  Plus I hear these guys put on a really good party.  See you there. 

Exchange 7 Opening: 8.14.10, Time 5 to 10 pm
PrintZero Studios Seattle   [map]
4810 Airport Way South #C
Seattle, WA 98108

Ryohei Tanaka, End-of-Show Party, Tomorrow

If you haven't seen the show, tomorrow is the last day for Ryohei Tanaka's amazing paper cuts in all their glory on the walls of Cullom Gallery.  Stop by between 4 and 6 pm on Saturday, 8/14, and enjoy a cold beer and sample some crunchy shrimp snacks picked from Uwajimaya's vast selection of this popular Japanese munchy.

Paper Cuts by Ryohei Tanaka
Cullom Gallery
603 S Main Street
Seattle, WA  98104

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Our Summer Ephemera Show

Swing by and see our 3rd Annual, Summer Ephemera Show, now on view in the east window through September 4, 2010.  This year I've found a group of 1950s matchbox labels chock-full of juicy graphic designs of the time.  We also have a small stash of vintage black & white and sepia tone photos, some titled and dated in the negative as images taken on a world cruise in 1928, and others from the 1930s and 50s.  And I found another copy of the pro-wrestling poster from last year, from a match-up between Japanese hero, Rikidozan, and various international strong men in masks and tights.

Taisho-era woman, with blown-glass fish bowls, $45. framed

1950s matchbox label, $30. framed

(left) 1930s matchbox label with Nagoya Carp and biplane $35. framed
(right) 1950s photo of new train line to Ningyocho $55. framed
1950s matchbox label advertising Kogabo Cameras $30. framed

Another beautiful 1950s matchbox label  $30. in the frame
1930s postcard advertising medical thermometers $45. framed

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

A Few Photos

In case you can't make it to Seattle, here are a few shots of Ryohei Tanaka's current show at Cullom Gallery, which runs through Saturday, August 14th.  I was really happy with the way the show came together, and the aerial paper cuts (as we are calling them) added another great layer to the show. 

I can't say enough about this great and creative, if slightly elusive artist.  Being surrounded by his amazing papercuts these many weeks has been like getting to know someone through reading their dream diary.  Wish you all could be here.  Cuttin' It Up: Paper Cuts by Ryohei Tanaka.