Selected Artists: Peggy Bacon, Albert W. Barker, Will Barnet, Leonard Baskin, Thomas Hart Benton, Isabel Bishop, Abe Blasko, Ernest Fiene, Emil Ganso, Gordon Grant, Marion Greenwood, Irwin D. Hoffman, Martin Lewis, Charles W. Locke, James Penney, Robert Riggs, John Sloan, Bruce Waldman, Max Weber, and Anders Zorn.
Mark Jenkins, arts writer for The Washington Post, featured our woodcut and wood engraving show, Ink & Grain, in his most recent column. Follow the link below to read his article, and make sure to stop by the gallery before November 15th to see the show in person.
(Quick note: Our exhibit is the last show reviewed, so it does take some scrolling to get to the write up on Ink & Grain).
Serigraphy ( also known as screen-printing or silk screen) is a versatile printing process, based on the stencil principle. The method first appeared in China during the Song Dynasty (960–1279 AD), and gained popularity in 18th century Europe, thanks to imports of silk from the East. A group of WPA artists, who later formed the National Serigraphic Society, coined the word “serigraphy” in the 1930s in effort to differentiate the artistic application from the commercial printing application. Serigraphy was later made famous in the 1960s by Andy Warhol, who used the medium to achieve a bold, commercial look in his pop-icon prints.
To make a serigraph, a fine woven fabric is tightly stretched and attached to a metal or sturdy wood frame. This forms the printing screen. A stencil is then created on the screen, by the application of a blockout. Artists have experimented with numerous blockout methods over time- including paper, hand-cut film, glue, photosensitive emulsion, and gelatin film. The blockout areas become the non-image areas. After the blockout is laid and dried, paper is placed below the screen and thick ink is squeezed into a line across the top of the screen. The ink is then dragged along the surface of the screen with a squeegee. This forces the ink to pass through the open area of the stencil onto the paper below. For multi-colored prints, a separate screen is required for each color.
Below are several serigraph prints we have in our OPG inventory, by early 20th century and contemporary artists. Hope you enjoy!
Today we have two beautiful nude prints, one by contemporary Bill Murphy and the other by 20th century painter and printmaker Alessandro Mastro-Valerio. Followers of the OPG Blog are already familiar with Alessandro Mastro-Valerio (we have featured his prints here, here, and here), but this is the first time we have showcased work by Bill Murphy.
Murphy was born in Staten Island in 1952. He studied at The School of Visual Arts, The Art Students League, Pratt Graphic Center, and received an MFA from Vermont College. He holds the rank of Professor of Visual Arts at Wagner College, Staten Island where he has taught since 1983. Murphy is a member of Audubon Artists, Print Club of Albany, and the Society of American Graphic Artists (SAGA).
A particularly poignant line from Murphy’s artist statement is a great illumination of what makes his prints so successful: “The aspect of picture-making which intrigues me the most is at the point where luck and intention meet – the crisscrossing of fate and accident on the way to finding a picture.” His nude lithograph is a perfect visual testament to his instinctive and liberated method; it is a very subtle print- not overworked or exhaustive in its line work. Similarly, Mastro-Valerio’s nude benefits from a softer and delicate touch. The sheets are a tumble of indistinguishable folds, and his use of line is sparse- with only subtle definitions to the curve of the hip, shoulders, and hands, leaving the face and background bathed in shadows.
We hope you enjoy these two beautiful prints!
Image on the Left: Repose. Alessandro Mastro-Valerio. Mezzotint, 1948. Edition of 20. Estate Signed. LINK.
Image on the Right: Reclining Nude. By Bill Murphy. Lithograph, 1988. Edition 10. Signed and titled in pencil. LINK.
We picked up two prints at this year’s Capital Art Fair by Boris Lovet-Lorski (1894-1973). Lovet-Lorski is best known for his dramatic sculptures and lithographs. Always conscious of volume and structural space, his early architectural aptitude combined with the flattened aesthetic of the Art Deco period to produce his distinctive style.
Over the course of his career, Lovet-Lorski fashioned sculpture in a dizzying variety of materials, including marble, granite, slate, onyx, bronze, copper, pewter, wood, plaster, jade, and even lava. Ever mindful of the material used, his busts and figures always emerged with the clean, geometric lines and a fluid tactility. When arthritis hindered his capacity to sculpt, Lovet-Lorski focused his attention on drawing and printmaking, specifically lithography. In 1926, Braun & Co. published two portfolios of his lithographs.
Lovet-Lorski’s muse was the woman of the 20’s & 30’s, whether he captured her in polished bronze, black and white lithographs, or oil-paintings. He depicted the female form with strong, elongated and rounded limbs and narrow, boyish hips that flowered up to broad, angular shoulders. These powerful body silhouettes acted as a nod to the lustrous, modernized profiles of automobiles, airplanes, and new technology of the 20th century.