Contemporary, Daily Dose of Jazz, Prints, Woodcut

Daily Dose of Jazz: Su-Li Hung

Hello readers. Today is the last day of the 2012 DC Jazz Festival. Consequently, today is our last Daily Dose of Jazz post, featuring NY-based artist Su-Li Hung.  Hung is a painter, printmaker, poet, who was born in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, in 1947 and currently lives in New York. She studied at National Taiwan U., the Art Students League, and the National Academy. She is currently a member of Society of American Graphic Artists (SAGA), where she serves as a council member. Author of twenty-three books of essays and poetry published in Taiwan, and Hong Kong, Hung explores both writing and printmaking, and often pairs them together. She has exhibited extensively in the United States and Taiwan.

Hung has received numerous awards, including Gold Medal Prize of Honor in Graphics, Audubon Artists; Certificates of Merit and Achievement The Print Club of Albany; United Daily News, Literature Prize, Taiwan; Best Essay of the Year, China Times Literature Prize, Silvermine Guild Print, 2nd place award, Boston Printmaker award.

Reflecting on her first print, Hung writes, “Carving on the wood board, my first woodcut, 1970, a dead butterfly, monarch, trembling black line to shape the delicate butterfly, delicate, yet still having the strength of struggling life, a broken breath. I called my first woodcut “On the Wings of Music.” 30 years later, I have made over 300 pieces of woodcut, still feel like I am doing my first cutting of the wood board, still feel under the shadow of the monarch, flapping its crossing country migrating wings, delicate, yet full of strength, indefinite, yet determined.”

Saxophone. By Su-Li Hung. Woodcut, 2007. Inscribed “1/50.”

For more prints by Su-Li Hung, visit our gallery in Georgetown or our website. For past Daily Dose of Jazz posts, click here.

Contemporary, Daily Dose of Jazz, Early 20th Century, Prints, Woodcut

Daily Dose of Jazz: John Ross

Friday’s Daily Dose of Jazz is a woodcut by New York artist John Ross. Ross, born in 1921, is a  painter, printmaker, book artist and Professor of Art. He has served as president of the Society of American Graphic Artists, and is active in a number of art organizations. Ross has had over sixty one-artist shows and is represented in many museum collections including the Hirshhorn Collection, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Library of Congress, Dallas Museum, the Smithsonian Institution, and Philadelphia Public Library.

Ross studied at Cooper Union School of Art, Parson School of Design, Dcole des Beaux Arts, France , New School for Social Research, Columbia University and Istituto Statale d’Arte in Italy. He taught printmaking at the New School for over fifty years and has been a professor of art Manhattanville College. Ross authored several reference books, including The Complete Printmaker, which is still in use to teach the history and process of printmaking.

Louis Armstrong. (Color). By John Ross. Woodcut, undated.

For more information on the DC Jazz Festival, click here. To see more prints by John Ross, visit our Georgetown gallery or check out our website. Our partners in New York, The Old Print Shop, have an extensive collection of John Ross prints as well, and we invite you to visit their website.  For past Daily Dose of Jazz prints, click here.

Chromolithograph, Daily Dose of Jazz, Early 20th Century, Lithograph, Prints

Daily Dose of Jazz: Mervin Jules

There are just 4 days left to attend the 2012 DC Jazz Festival. We urge our readers to take advantage of the great concerts and events going on in Washington DC and become inspired by the sounds of jazz. For today’s Daily Dose of Jazz, we are featuring a print by a Maryland-born, 20th century artist, Mervin Jules.

Mervin Jules was born in Baltimore  in 1912. He received artistic training at Baltimore City College and the Maryland Institute College of Art, graduating in 1934.  Duncan Phillips, prominent modern art collector of the time period and founder of the Phillips Collection in Washington, displayed a small painting at the museum by Jules in 1935. Jules had his first solo show at the Hudson D. Walker Gallery in New York in 1937 and thereafter exhibited frequently, both in the United States and abroad. He later studied in New York at the Art Students League (1937) under painter and printmaker Thomas Hart Benton (whose work we also exhibit at OPG).

A realist whose work often dealt with social themes, Jules was especially prolific as a printmaker. Like other social realist artists, his subjects were often depictions of the plight of the poor and disadvantaged. Jules’ works also encompassed satires against fascism and social ills, which garnered some criticism from art writers, collectors, and gallery owners.  Nevertheless, Jules remained popular and his work remained prized, thanks to his great technical skill and use of light and shadow. Of his technical approach and subject matter, Jules said, “The thing to be expressed determines the elements which comprise form. Space, color, line, and sense of volume are not mere plastic playthings, but are used to communicate my interest and excitement about people and what they do… Emphasis and selection highlight the subject and bring to the artist’s audience a new and more vital understanding of contemporary life.”

From 1945 to 1970, Jules taught at Smith College, where he became head of the art department. From 1970 until he retired in 1980, he headed the art department at City College. His work is in many public collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Brooklyn Museum, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

Jazz Band. By Mervin Jules. Published by Associated American Artists. Color lithograph, 1954. Edition 250. Signed in pencil, inscribed “250/160.”

Prints by Mervin Jules are available for viewing at our partner gallery, The Old Print Shop in New York City. Prints can also be viewed at our Washington gallery by special request. To see our selection of prints by Mervin Jules, click here. For more information about the DC Jazz Festival, click here. And for past prints featured in our Daily Dose of Jazz, click here.


Color Linocut, Contemporary, Daily Dose of Jazz, Linocut, Prints

Daily Dose of Jazz: Stanley Kaplan

Hello readers. With the DC Jazz Festival well underway, we would like to offer up another Daily Dose of Jazz, this time by contemporary printmaker and bookmaker Stanley Kaplan. Kaplan was born in Brooklyn, in 1925. After graduating from the High School of Music and Art, he served two years in the United States Army during WWII. After the war, he returned to school- studying at Cooper Union and Pratt Institute. He taught art at Nassau Community College for thirty years and in 1978 Kaplan created Tortoise Press and self-published eight artist books. As an active artist since 1950, he has divided his time between wood carved murals, printmaking and artist books.

His work is in many major museum collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, The New York Public Library, The Newark Public Library and the British Museum.

On creating, Kaplan likens printmaking to composing music. He states, “The procedural steps that are necessary to transcribe a sketch to a wood or linoleum surface delay immediate resolution. With on-the-spot intuitive judgments and hand cutting tools, I have to slowly invent the areas that will be black, white, textured or colored. Cutting each block is an adventure into the unknown and takes on a life of its own. I’m not sure where I’m going until I get there. The limitations of the medium force me to use an economy of line and expressive shapes. The roll and pull of the brayer, inking the surface, and delicate rubbing with modulating pressure requires time, patience and concentration. When I make a block print from a painting or a photograph with various tones and colors, I liken it to taking music written for an orchestra and transcribing it for a piano solo. I get the essence of the original with a new interpretation.

I like to create a second color like the harmony for a musical theme. With stencils, I am able to use two or three blocks and a number of different colors. By changing the colors and the sequence of the blocks, I am able to achieve many resolutions. The print is more than a drawing transferred to a material to be reproduced. Through the long process, the original drawing becomes refined, changed, and strengthened.”

Sax and Drum. By Stanley Kaplan. Color linoleum cut, 2006. Inscribed “16/25.”

The Bass. By Stanley Kaplan. Color linoleum cut, 2006. Inscribed “4/25.”

For more information about the DC Jazz Festival, visit the organization’s website. To view or purchase prints by Stanley Kaplan, click here or come see them in person at our Georgetown art gallery. To see past prints from our Daily Dose of Jazz feature, click here.

Contemporary, Daily Dose of Jazz, Early 20th Century, Lithograph, Prints

Daily Dose of Jazz: Abe Blashko

Born in Seattle in 1920, Abe Blashko was a self-taught artist whose specialties were pencil drawings and lithographs of Depression-era figures. He dropped out of school to pursue his obvious talent for drawing and by age 18, he had his first one-man exhibit of prints and drawings at the Seattle Art Museum. His drawings and prints from the late 1930s and 1940s depict the “gritty edge of street life during the Great Depression in Seattle and New York” (Swann). After coming to New York City in 1943, Blashko made a career in illustration and was a contributor to The New Masses. He also taught at the Newark School of Fine and Industrial Art, New Jersey, from 1988 to 1991.

Musicians, workers, writers, and politicians were all subjects worthy of depicting for the artist. Inspired by Mexican muralists, Blashko focused his critical eye on all facets of daily life. In 1995, Blashko published a collection of prints and illustrations from New York City, entitled Saint Marks Place, East Village Scenes. These prints included several jazz musicians, like the print featured below.

Jazz Musician. By Abe Blashko. Lithograph, 1991. Edition 12/25.

For more information about DC Jazz Festival, click here. For past Daily Dose of Jazz prints, click here. For more prints by Blashko, please visit our NY partners, The Old Print Shop.