…and what did I find? Charm again. “Not quite my cup of tea,” I thought; “this is too English.” I have the fancy for rather spicy things, you know, not for the shade of the cedar tree, the cucumber sandwich, the silver cream-jug, the English girl dressed in whatever English girls do wear for tennis—not that, not Jane Austen, not M-m-miss M-m-mitford. Read More
At the turn of the 20th century, a curious symbiosis developed between decorative arts—especially wallpaper—and painting, even as modern painters were increasingly asserting their independence from tradition. Read More Read More"Paper Dresses Soon" announced the headline of a New York Times report from Paris in 1907. It was not until 60 years later, however, that printed paper garments became a mass-produced reality. “Paper fashion” took the United States market by storm between 1966 and 1968. Everything depends on perspective. Guido Lengwiler’s new book on the history of screenprinting (reviewed in this issue) carries the subtitle, “How an Art Evolved into an Industry.” Richard S. Field’s 1971–72 exhibition on the history of screenprints might well have been subtitled, “How an Industry Evolved into Art.” Since its inception, screenprint has been both a pragmatic instrument of commercial design and a folksy, artisanal craft. Read More Read MoreA disclaimer: I recognize that discussing the relationship of art and design is a quagmire. It’s a contentious and potentially dizzying exercise that has bogged down far greater thinkers than myself. In Arturo Herrera’s Berlin studio, a fresh breeze wafts through the rooms; the windows are gleaming and a fresh bouquet of yellow ranunculi sits on the desk. On a large wooden table lies a deep, gray-linen box. The artist lifts the lid to reveal two books, each elegantly housed; below these two lie eight more. Read More The cerebral, meticulous posters of Philippe Apeloig have made him a graphic design luminary. He was the subject of a large career retrospective at the Musée Les Arts Décoratifs in Paris this past year, and Thames and Hudson published a hefty monograph, Typorama, documenting Apeloig’s creative output of the last 30 years. Read More In 1994 or 1995, while researching artists for James Yood’s exhibition on the history of printmaking in Chicago at the Block Museum, I came across a few slides of screenprints dated 1959/60 by Ray Yoshida (1930–2009), a revered member of the painting and drawing faculty at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). Read More How can our multidimensional world be conveyed by a flat surface? Tauba Auerbach has explored this question in artist’s books and print editions over the past few years through diverse strategies for representing the spaces between two and three dimensions. Read More John B. Flannagan (1895–1942) is best known as a sculptor at the forefront of the American direct-carving movement that developed in the wake of the 1913 Armory Show. Eschewing models and maquettes, direct carvers attacked their materials with immediacy and emotion. In the 1920s and ’30s Flannagan also made relief prints that reveal his approach to the template as a carved medium. Read More
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