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Defenders of the Floating World

Jed Henry, Rickshaw Cart (2011), color woodblock print, 9 x 7 inches. Mokuhankan Woodblock Prints, Tokyo. Courtesy of the artist.

The small woodblock print Rickshaw Cart (2011) might at first glance be mistaken for a fresh reissue of a 19th-century Ukiyo-e pictorial melodrama, given its strong diagonal composition, tipped-up perspective, eloquent black outline and luminous blocks of color, not to mention the grimacing hero and fantastic demon in their racing rickshaws. On closer view, however, the mustachioed figure looks eerily like the videogame plumber-turned-hero Mario Read More

Charm, the Great English Blight: Edward Bawden in 1949

…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

Screenprint 2014

Daniel MacAdam, Hot Water Music (2013), seven-color screenprint poster, 17 1/2 x 23 inches. Edition of 170. Printed and published by Crosshair Silkscreen Printing, Chicago.

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

The Books of Others: Arturo Herrera’s Berlin Books Project

Arturo Herrera, Books (Set #1 in presentation box) (2012), screenprint and mixed media on paper (books) in linen-covered wooden box, 64.8 x 40.3 x10.2 cm.

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

Type and Transcendence: Philippe Apeloig

Philippe Apeloig, Vivo in Typo: Philippe Apeloig, Affiches et alphabet animé at the Espace Topographie de l’art, Paris (2008), screenprint, 175 × 118.5 cm. Printed by Sérica, Nancy France. Typefaces: original creation, Akkurat.

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

Ray Yoshida: The Secret Screenprints

Ray Yoshida, The Garden Island (c.1960), color screenprint monoprint on cream wove paper, image 48 x 43.7 cm, sheet 66.3 x 50.9 cm. Gift of the Raymond K. Yoshida Living Trust and Kohler Foundation, Inc., 2011.199. The Art Institute of Chicago. Photography ©The Art Institute of Chicago.

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

Tauba Auerbach: Dimensional Slippages

Tauba Auerbach, Mesh/Moire II (2012), color soft‐ground etching, image 31 3/4 x 23 3/4 inches, sheet 40 1/2 x 30 inches. Edition of 40. Printed and published by Paulson Bott Press, Berkeley, CA. ©Tauba Auerbach.

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