Categories
2: Abstraction Inspiration Media Printmakers

Koichi Yamamoto

Inspiration for my printmaking

I find Yamamoto’s large abstract monochrome monoprint landscapes extremely evocative. Inspired by a Zen minimalist aesthetic, with a focus on tone and markmaking, they have a dreamy and ethereal feel – full of suggestion of light and dark, huge towering buildings or seething underlying masses in the deep. Yet cannot be completely grasped or understood.

Yamamoto Printmaking Official website

Monoprints

Google images of Yamamoto monoprints

Koichi Yamamoto is an artist who merges the traditional and contemporary by creating unique and innovative approaches to the language of printmaking.Koichi’s prints explore issues of the sublime, memory, and atmosphere.
Koichi has worked with meticulous copper engravings to large-scale monotypes.
He completed BFA at the Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland, Oregon then move to Krakow, Poland for producing works and to study copper engravings in Bratislava Academy of Fine Arts in Slovakia Republic.
He studied in Academy of Fine Arts in Poznan, Poland and then completed MFA at University of Alberta, Canada. He also worked as a textile designer in Fredericia, Denmark.
He has exhibited internationally. He has taught at Utah State University and University of Delaware and currently an Associate Professor at University of Tennessee in Knoxville.
Video of his working process

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Sources of inspiration in water surfaces

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Metal engraving

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Copperplate etching Kite design

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Categories
2: Abstraction 4: Portrait Artists Figure Inspiration

Fauvism and Expressionism

Fauvism and Expressionism influenced:

Project 4.1 Portrait of a Friend

Fauvism is the name applied to the work produced from around 1905 to 1910 by a group of French artists led by  Henri Matisse and André Derain, but including Georges Braque, Raoul Dufy, Georges Rouault, and Maurice de Vlaminck ). It was inspired by post-impressionism of Vincent van GoghPaul GauguinGeorges Seurat, and Paul Cézanne.  The name les fauves (‘the wild beasts’) was coined by the critic Louis Vauxcelles when he saw the work of Henri Matisse and André Derain in an exhibition, the salon d’automne in Paris, in 1905.

Fauvism was characterised by:

  • use of strong saturated colours as independent elements that projected a mood and established a structure for a painting  without having to be true to the natural world. They were interested in scientific colour theories and often juxtaposed complementary colours to increase vibrancy.
  • concern with strong and unified compositional balance of colour and shape elements to give an immediate strong and unified visual impression
  • fierce dynamic brushwork juxtaposed with areas of flat colour
  • all elements aimed to promote the artist’s individual expression, their direct experience of their subjects, emotional response to nature, and intuition were all more important than academic theory or elevated subject matter.

It was an important precursor to Expressionism, Cubism and future modes of abstraction.

Alexej Georgewitsch von Jawlensky (RussianАлексей Георгиевич Явленский) (13 March 1864 – 15 March 1941) was a Russian expressionist painter active in Germany. He was a key member of the New Munich Artist’s Association (Neue Künstlervereinigung München), Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider) group and later the Die Blaue Vier (The Blue Four).

website: http://www.alexej-von-jawlensky.com/

References

    • Connaissance des arts (2017). Andre Derain: 1904-1914 La Decennie Radicale. Paris: Connaissance des arts.
    • Barnett, V. E., Ed. (2017). Alexei Jawlensky. Munich, London, New York: Prestel.
    • Derain, A. (2017). Andre Derain. London and Paris: FAGE.
    • Muller, J. E. (1967). Fauvism. London: Thames and Hudson.

Tate website: https://www.tate.org.uk/art/art-terms/f/fauvism

https://www.theartstory.org/movement-fauvism.htm

Categories
Inspiration Linocut Printmakers

Elizabeth Catlett

Elizabeth Catlett (1915-2012) was an African-American graphic artist and sculptor. She is best known for her depictions of the African-American experience in the 20th century, which often had the female experience as their focus. Her work is a mixture of abstract and figurative in the Modernist tradition, with influence from African and Mexican art traditions.

Google Elizabeth Catlett prints

Her work was influenced by the Harlem Renaissance movement and the Chicago Black Renaissance in the 1940s and reinforced in the 1960s and 1970s with the influence of the Black Power, Black Arts Movement and feminism. Catlett was more concerned in the social messages of her work than in pure aesthetics. “I have always wanted my art to service my people — to reflect us, to relate to us, to stimulate us, to make us aware of our potential.” She was a feminist and an activist before these movements took shape, pursuing a career in art despite segregation and the lack of female role models. “I don’t think art can change things,” Catlett said “I think writing can do more. But art can prepare people for change, it can be educational and persuasive in people’s thinking.”

Her printwork was mostly woodcuts and linocuts produced 1947-1966 with theTaller de Gráfica Popular,  a famous workshop in Mexico City dedicated to graphics arts promoting leftist political causes, social issues and education.   She and other artists created a series of linoleum cuts on prominent black figures as well as posters, leaflets, illustrations for textbooks and materials to promote literacy in Mexico. Her linocut series “The Black Woman Speaks,” is among the first graphic series in Western art to depict the image of the American black woman as a heroic and complex human being. Her posters of Harriet Tubman, Angela Davis, Malcolm X and other figures were widely distributed.

See also many other videos of interviews about her political role and life.

Categories
Inspiration Linocut Printmakers

Margaret Taylor-Burroughs

Margaret Taylor-Burroughs (1915 – 2010), also known as Margaret Taylor Goss, Margaret Taylor Goss Burroughs or Margaret T G Burroughs; was an African-American artist and writer, with her efforts directed toward the exploration of the Black experience and to children, especially to their appreciation of their cultural identity and to their introduction and growing awareness of art.

Many of here linocuts have become iconic images of the American Civil Rights movement. In many of Burroughs’ pieces, she depicts people with half black and half white faces.

Google Margaret Burroughs linocuts

In The Faces of My People Burroughs carved five people with different skin tones staring at the viewer. One of the women is all black, three of the people are half black and half white and one is mostly white. While Burroughs is attempting to blend together the black and white communities, she also shows the barriers that stop the communities from uniting. None of the people in The Faces of My People are looking at each other, and this implies a sense of disconnect among them.On another level, The Faces of My People deals with diversity. An article from the Collector magazine website describes Burroughs’ attempts to unify in the picture. The article says, “Burroughs sees her art as a catalyst for bringing people together. This tableau of diverse individuals illustrates her commitment to mutual respect and understanding”.

My People:  there are four different faces – each of which is half white and half black. The head on the far left is tilted to the side and close to the head next to it. It seems as both heads are coming out of the same body – taking the idea of split personalities to the extreme. The women are all very close together, suggesting that they relate to each other. My People focuses on a common conflict that all the women in the picture face.

Birthday Party: here both black and white children are seen celebrating. The black and white children are not isolated from each other; instead they are intermixed and mingling around the table together waiting for birthday cake. An article published by The Art Institute of Chicago described Burroughs’ Birthday Party and said, “Through her career, as both a visual artist and a writer, she has often chosen themes concerning family, community, and history. ‘Art is communication,’ she has said. ‘I wish my art to speak not only for my people – but for all humanity.’ This aim is achieved in Birthday Party, in which both black and white children dance, while mothers cut cake in a quintessential image of neighbors and family enjoying a special day together”.

She also helped to establish many art establishments and opportunities for artists promoting civil rights.

She helped found the South Side Community Arts Center in 1939 to serve as a social center, gallery, and studio to showcase African American artists.

She is credited with the founding of Chicago’s Lake Meadows Art Fair in the early 1950s. At its inception there were very limited venues and galleries for African American Artists to exhibit and sell their artwork, so she launched the Fair, which rapidly grew in popularity and became one of the most anticipated exhibitions for artists, collectors and others throughout the greater Chicago area. After a brief hiatus beginning in the early 1980s, it was resurrected by Helen Y. West in 2005 – and another of Margaret Burroughs’ legacies lives on.

Margaret and her husband Charles co-founded what is now called the DuSable Museum of African American History in Chicago in 1961. The institution was originally known as the Ebony Museum of Negro History and Art and made its debut in the living room of their house at 3806 S. Michigan Avenue in the Bronzeville neighborhood on Chicago’s south side, and Taylor-Burroughs served as its executive director for the first ten years of its existence. She was proud of the institution’s grass-roots beginnings: “we’re the only one that grew out of the indigenous Black community. We weren’t started by anybody downtown; we were started by ordinary folks.”Burroughs served as Executive Director until 1984 and was then named Director Emeritus, remaining active in the museum’s operations and fundraising efforts.

Burroughs was impacted by Harriet Tubman, Gerard L. Lew, Sojourner Truth, Frederick Douglass, and W.E.B. Du Bois.

See also the many You Tube videos on her legacy to the Civil Rights movement, interviews with her before her death and reading her poetry.