Tag Archives: printmaking

Scott Jacobs Visits Alex Gockel’s Studio in Germany [Video]

What happens when two Park West Gallery artists collaborate? Scott Jacobs recently visited Alex Gockel‘s workshop in Lüdinghausen, Germany to try his hand at the ancient printmaking technique of etching. Watch:

Fine art by Scott Jacobs and Alex Gockel is available for purchase through Park West Gallery and its cruise art auctions at sea. Learn more at www.parkwestgallery.com.

Japanese Woodcut Print Collection at Park West Gallery

Park West Gallery is excited to offer for sale an impressive collection of 19th Century Japanese Woodcut prints created by more than 25 different talented woodblock artists. Following, we present a few collection highlights along with a bit of art history behind the prints. 

"Actors" (1859), Toyokuni III, Park West Gallery, Japanese Woodcut printsThe majority of prints in the Park West Gallery Japanese Woodcut Collection were created during Edo period Japan (1615-1868). Known familiarly as ukiyo-e, or “pictures of the floating world,” these images traditionally portray “worldly pleasures and earthly delights,” a type of escape that dealt with the frustrating ancient divisions of class between Japanese nobles and warriors.

Historically, many in the warrior class had been able to accumulate vast sums of money, often much more than many of the nobles. But due to strict class definitions, this didn’t matter and they were seen as second tier. Thus, ukiyo-e, the “floating world,” was born as a place controlled by and patron to the warrior class (and those interested), an area where they could revel in their “earthly delights.” Common forms of entertainment were elaborate tea houses, the company of courtesans and geishas, and Kabuki Theater.

"Actors" (1865), Yoshitaki , Park West Gallery, Japanese Woodcut prints"Actors and Bijin" (1845), Shibakuni, Park West Gallery, Japanese woodcut printsWhile many ukiyo-e show everything from geisha and landscapes to tea houses, the most famous prints depict scenes from the Kabuki Theater. The theater acted out stories deeply engrained in Japanese history, tales that were fantastic and supernatural, mythological or the aggrandized lives of historical figures. Each story was easily recognized by their audience and the Kabuki actors went to extreme lengths to convey the most dramatic, exaggerated expressions and poses that they could.

At the height of this drama, the actor would freeze, holding this powerful facade. Each actor had his own signature trait, such as how long he would hold his pose, the comedic way his hair was worn, his family crest or the colors in his costume. Woodblock prints of this period usually depicted specific actors, recognizable by these features.

"Genre Print" (1880), Yoshitoshi, Japanese woodcut prints, Park West Gallery"Actors" (1815), Toyokuni, Japanese woodcut prints, Park West Gallery

Likewise, in Kabuki prints, not only were the actors easily recognized, but so too were stories they acted out. Artists would take the most dramatic pose from an actor’s repertoire and freeze it on a woodblock forever, making sure to include telling marks of who the character was. Having the character hold something symbolic or depicting them in the midst of their most notorious moment were common ways in which the artist clued the audience in to what was happening.

Finally, when Japan opened up their trade routes to Europe in 1868, renowned artists like Toulouse-Lautrec, Degas, Whistler, and Van Gogh became known collectors of these prints, often bringing aspects of the woodblock style into their own artwork. From the use of sharp perspective, line and color, to the study of the middle class’s entertainment, without ukiyo-e, Impressionist art would have become something else entirely.
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To learn more and inquire about the Japanese Woodcut Collection offered by Park West Gallery and its cruise art auctions at sea, please visit http://sales.parkwestgallery.com.

The Fine Art of Engraving [Video]

From Albrecht Durer to Pablo Picasso, the technically precise fine art of engraving has been practiced by various masters throughout the decades of art history. Park West Gallery artist Linda Le Kinff often incorporates the traditional methods of printmaking and engraving into her contemporary works of art. Watch Le Kinff in her studio in France as she demonstrates this intricate artistic medium:

Exclusive artwork by Linda Le Kinff is available through Park West Gallery and its cruise art auctions at sea. Learn more at www.parkwest-lekinff.com.

Artist Birthdays, October 25 – Pablo Picasso

PABLO PICASSO (October 25, 1881 – April 8, 1973)

  • Nationality: Spanish
  • Field: Painting, sculpture, printmaking
  • Art Movement: Cubism
  • ARTiFact: In Picasso’s artistic life, lasting more than 75 years, he created tens of thousands of works, including paintings, drawings, sculpture, original lithographs, etchings, linoleum cuts and ceramics.
  • Art Quote: “Bad artists copy. Good artists steal.”
  • Notable Artwork (shown below): Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, 1907.

Les Demoiselles d'Avignon, Pablo Picasso
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Artwork selections from the Park West Gallery Pablo Picasso collection are available for purchase through Park West Gallery and our cruise art auctions at sea. Learn more at the Park West Gallery/Picasso Fine Art Collection.

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The Printmaker’s Art

Albrecht Durer, Park West Gallery, fine art printsDetail from Albrecht Dürer’s ‘The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse” from “The Apocalypse: Revelation of Saint John the Divine'” (ca. 1497).

EDINBURGH — A collection of iconic prints by some of the finest European artists of the past 500 years is on view at the National Gallery of Scotland. The skills of artists such as Rembrandt van Rijn, Francisco Goya and Albrecht Dürer, are on display in The Printmaker’s Art, which showcases some of the most beautiful and intricate prints ever made. Exhibit highlights include an impression of Dürer’s celebrated woodcut The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, and Rembrandt’s tour-de-force etching, The Three Crosses.

The exhibition website explains:

“Prints are made by drawing onto a surface such as a woodblock, metal plate or lithographic stone, and then transferring the image, using a variety of means, onto a separate sheet of paper.  Over the centuries, artists have exploited a diverse range of printmaking techniques to create an array of distinctive effects that cannot be achieved in any other medium.  In the process many great artists, such as Blake, Goya and Toulouse-Lautrec, have produced prints that are considered to be among their most brilliant and influential works.

The 30 works on display have been selected not only for their exquisite beauty, but also to trace the development of printmaking techniques over the centuries, and to demonstrate the sophisticated processes that led to their creation.” 

The Printmaker’s Art is on view through May 23. For more information on this exhibit, please visit www.nationalgalleries.org
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As the demand for rare works by the greatest of the Old Masters continues to escalate throughout the world, Park West Gallery is pleased to offer timeless and historic works by some of the most important artists of all time. Please visit the Park West Gallery fine art collection online to view selections by master printmakers including Rembrandt, Goya and Dürer.

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Focusing on Matisse as a Printmaker at the Tampa Museum of Art

Henri Matisse, Park West Gallery, print collection“Young Girl Leaning on Her Elbows in front of Flowered Screen” (1923) by Henri Matisse. ©2009 Succession H. Matisse/Artists, Rights Society (ARS), New York, Courtesy American Federation of Arts.

TAMPA — An exceptional show featuring Fauvist master Henri Matisse is currently on view at the newly-opened Tampa Museum of Art. While many past exhibits focus on the bright, cheerful paintings of Matisse, this display is centered around the artist’s 50-year journey as a printmaker.

(Note: Numerous examples of Matisse prints are represented in the Park West Gallery Collection, some of which can be seen online.) 

“This is a rare show indeed for what it suggests about the interconnectedness among Matisse’s work in printmaking, painting and sculpture,” said Todd Smith, the museum’s executive director.

Matisse created over 800 prints in his lifetime and his style certainly influenced the next generation of popular Park West Gallery artists – Marcel Mouly, Jean-Claude Picot and Emile Bellet – just to name a few.

From the Tampa Museum of Art website:

A Celebration of Henri Matisse: Master of Line and Light
On view through April 18, 2010 — This comprehensive exhibition on the career of the great French artist Henri Matisse (1869–1954) showcases over 170 works of art spanning 50 years of Matisse’s career, with particular emphasis placed on the role that printmaking played in the development of the artist’s career. The exhibition offers compelling evidence of the important role printmaking played in the evolution of Matisse’s visual ideas. The exhibition loosely follows the chronology of Matisse’s career, from the artist’s earliest print in 1900 to the last in 1951. Examples of every printmaking technique used by Matisse — etchings, monotypes, lithographs, linocuts, aquatints, drypoints, woodcuts and color prints — are included. Almost all of the prints involve serial imagery, with the artist showing the development of a reclining or seated pose, the integration of models within interiors, the study of facial expressions, and the transformation of a subject from a straight representation to something more abstract or developed.

For more on this exhibit, please visit www.tampamuseum.org

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Fear and Folly on a Snow Day

Francisco Goya, Los Disparates/Los Proverbios, Park West GalleryPlate 12 – “Three Gentlemen and Three Dancing Ladies” (1815-1824) from Francisco Goya’s “Los Proverbios”/”Los Disparates”.

“First be a magnificent artist and then you can do whatever, but the art must be first.” —Francisco Goya

Just a couple hours drive from Park West Gallery (maybe a bit longer on a snowy day like today), is the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts. Through May 23, the KIA presents, Fear and Folly: The Visionary Prints of Francisco Goya and Federico Castellon. Admission to the exhibit is free.

According to the KIA:

“Though separated by about 150 years, Francisco Goya (1746-1828) and Federico Castellon (1914-1971) often appear closer to one another than to their contemporaries, as they both turned their attention to the human condition. In this exhibition, the artists are represented by important print series from the KIA’s permanent collection: Castellon’s lithographs for Edgar Allen Poe’s The Masque of the Red Death and Goya’s etchings from Los Disparates (or The Proverbs). Many artists have been drawn to things dark and fantastic, but few have probed the human condition with the insight and truthfulness found in these images.”

Created between 1815 and 1824, during a last lapse in his health, Los Disparates was Goya’s last major project in printmaking and is considered his best for the virtuosity in engraving, control of color tonalities and use of aquatint and drypoint. Because of its highly personal nature, this series is also considered the most difficult to understand and interpret. Each image is a cryptic visual of various proverbs.

Goya was over 70-years-old when he completed the series, almost totally deaf, and living a lonely, solitary life on the outskirts of Madrid. Los Disparates was not published until 1864, 36 years after Goya’s death.

So if (as predicted) tomorrow turns out to be a snow day, why not spend some time at a local museum exhibit like Fear and Folly at the KIA. Or if you’re in the neighborhood, stop by Park West Gallery! (Entry is free and no appointment is necessary – we only ask that you stomp the snow off your boots at the front door.)

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The Evolution of Printmaking from Masters to Modern Artists

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If you were to survey the Park West Gallery Collection, among other media, you’d find many works of art categorized as various types prints – lithographs, serigraphs, etchings, engravings and giclees – for example. The printmaking medium is often misunderstood or unfortunately dismissed as an inferior method of producing artwork. The truth is, printmaking fosters a unique method of artistic expression and provides great advantages to an artist in terms of being able to easily produce and distribute their original works to the masses. 

During the Renaissance, printmakers created woodcuts, engravings and etchings after notable paintings (Read about The Art of Etching at the Park West Gallery | Rembrandt website). Artists began altering compositions and creating prints after their own works and throughout modern art history, masters including Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse, embraced and advanced printmaking techniques. Contemporary artists of today are continuing to develop the field using advanced technology and processes.

Art historian, author, and art critic Joseph Jacobs writes of contemporary artist Itzchak Tarkay‘s use of printmaking:

“Because they are multiples as opposed to unique works of art, prints, quite mistakenly, are often considered a secondary medium. But in Tarkay’s hands it is clear they are not. One look at a work such as In the Lounge, and it can be immediately seen that the artist has a powerful affinity for the physicality of the printer’s ink that virtually transforms this silkscreen into a painting. We can see and feel the three-dimensionality of the ink; it is rich and unctuous, like oil paint. We would hardly know that the pigment was squeezed onto the paper through a fine screen as opposed to being applied with a brush.

Tarkay’s prints are testimony to the extraordinary technical richness of printmaking and the degree to which it can be transformed into a medium of great personal expression. The artist has turned printer’s ink into oil paint, varnish, glazes, watercolor, wash, gouache, graphite, pen and ink, brush and ink, crayon and charcoal. The artist’s touch is so prominent, it is hard to believe that for any print there could be another example that is even similar in appearance.”

(Read the full essay at the Park West Gallery | Tarkay website)

In the Footsteps of Masters: The Evolution of the Reproductive Print, a new exhibit at the Figge Art Museum in Davenport, Iowa, examines the role of printmaking in the development of visual culture. Open through May 23, the exhibition covers a span of 500 years, featuring approximately 80 European and American prints from the 15th to the 20th century.

On view are original prints by artists Albrecht Dürer, Jusepe De Ribera, Edouard Manet, Jean-Baptiste Corot, Jean-Honoré Fragonard, William Blake, Francisco Goya and Grant Wood, and others made after the works of famous masters such as Raphael, Peter Paul Rubens, Annibale Caracci, Rembrandt, Jan Vermeer, Jan Van Eyck, Titian, Michelangelo and others.

For more information on this exhibit, please visit www.art-dma.org

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