19th Century Prints, Copperplate, Engraving, Past/Present, Portraits, Prints, Stipple

Past/Present: Calligraphic Memorials

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Today we are sharing a Past/Present post of engraved memorials to Washington. After Washington’s death in 1799, many engravers and publishers rushed to create prints of Washington’s likeness for the grieving populace. Washington “had played such a central role in the extraordinary events of a quarter century that his death was an event of great emotional consequence in America, affecting the very identity of the nation… In honoring Washington the nation was honoring its own history” (Wick, 70). The memorial prints served to remember Washington for his accomplishments, great vision, and character, and to urge the populace to emulate the traits of their lost leader. The engravers surrounded their portraits with poems, allegorical elements, and symbols of the man’s greatness as well as the rich imagery found in mourning art- the obelisk, urn, angels, and weeping figures. The prints shown in today’s post are beautifully ornate calligraphic portraits of the lost leader.

The earlier print is a calligraphic copper engraving, designed, written, and published by Benjamin O. Tyler, professor of penmanship, New York, 1817. It was engraved by Peter Maverick, a copper and steel engraver based in Newark. The print has a stipple oval portrait of Washington in center of an elegiac poem, angels, and masonic symbols of a shining sun and book held open by a square and compass. Above the portrait, two ovals encompass the words: ‘Tho’ shrin’d in dust, great WASHINGTON now lies, The Memory of his Deeds shall ever bloom; Twin’d with proud Laurels, shall the Olive rise, And wave unfading o’er his Honor’d Tomb.” and “To him ye Nations yield eternal FAME, First on th’ Heroic list enroll his Name; High on th’ ensculptur’d marble let him stand, The undaunted Hero of his native land.”  Below his portrait reads: “Gen. George Washington departed this life Decr. 14th. 1799 AE 67. And the tears of a NATION watered his grave.

The second print is calligraphic engraving by John I. Donlevy, intaglio-chromographic and electrographic engraver. Originally issued by Donlevy in 1838, this is a second state published c. 1870. Within an elaborate oval penmanship border is a stipple-engraved portrait of Washington. The portrait is based on Stuart’s Athenaeum painting, with the bust done in swirls.  The lettering is executed in the typical variety of styles with cursive flourishes, shadows, italics, and blackletter. Above the portraits is an engraved eagle, with laurel and the American flag in its beak and arrows clutched in its talons. 

Image on the Top: Eulogium Sacred to the Memory of the Illustrious George Washington, Columbia’s Great and Successful Son: Honored Be His Name. By Benjamin O. Tyler. Published by Benjamin O. Tyler, New York. Engraved by Peter Maverick. Line and stipple copper engraving, 1817 . Image size 16 1/4 x 20 1/2″  plus margins. LINK.

Image on the Bottom: Sacred to the Memory of the Illustrious Champion of Liberty, General George Washington; First President of the United States of America. By John I. Donlevy. Published by John I. Donlevy. Calligraphic and stipple engraving, 1838, (c.1870). Platemark 16 1/2 x 13 7/8″. LINK.

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Abstract, Contemporary, Gallery Event, Gallery Opening Receptions, Gallery Openings, Gallery Updates, Landscapes, Lithograph, Mezzotint, Oil Painting, Pencil Drawing, Prints

Robert Kipniss. “Poetry of Art: Paintings, Drawings and Prints”

Forest murmurs. Robert Kipniss. Mezzotint, 2010. Image size 14 5/16 x 19 3/8" (363 x 493 mm). Edition 50.

Forest murmurs. Robert Kipniss. Mezzotint, 2010. Image size 14 5/16 x 19 3/8″ (363 x 493 mm). Edition 50.

Robert Kipniss.

Poetry of Art: Paintings, Drawings and Prints

Exhibition: October 18 through November 22, 2014.
Artist’s Reception: Thursday Night, October 23, 2014 4:30- 7pm

The Old Print Shop (our NYC partner gallery) is proud to present a new contemporary exhibit of over 30 recent works by Robert Kipniss. The exhibit opens today, and runs through late November. On view are paintings, prints, drawings, and poetry by this exceptional artist. Please make a point to stop by the NY gallery to see the show in person, or attend the Artist’s Reception next Thursday, October 23, from 4:30 to 7:00pm at the 152 Lexington Avenue gallery.

And on the Hill, Two Trees. Robert Kipniss. Oil on canvas, 2013. Canvas size 30 x 40" (76.2 x 101.6 cm).

And on the Hill, Two Trees. Robert Kipniss. Oil on canvas, 2013. Canvas size 30 x 40″ (76.2 x 101.6 cm).

Robert Kipniss – Painter, Printmaker, and Poet – was born in Brooklyn, NY, in 1931. In 1936, his family moved to Laurelton, New York, where he discovered the pleasure of being in the woods. His early love of the forest continues to this day in his images. He is often inviting the viewer into his private woods. In 1947, he took Saturday classes at the Art Students League and the next year he left for Wittenberg College (now University) in Springfield, Ohio. While at Wittenberg, he began to write poetry. By 1950, his passion was poetry, and he decided to major in literature and transferred to the University of Iowa. At the University of Iowa he took his first formal painting classes. In 1951 he entered a painting competition in New York City and was awarded his first one-artist show at the Joe Gans Gallery on 57th Street.  Kipniss has had over 180 one-artist shows since his first in 1951.

Window w/Curtain & Hill. Robert Kipniss. Oil on canvas, 2013. Canvas size 36 x 25" (91.5 x 63.5 cm).

Window w/Curtain & Hill. Robert Kipniss. Oil on canvas, 2013. Canvas size 36 x 25″ (91.5 x 63.5 cm).

In 1950, Kipniss made the decision that he was going to be a poet and a painter; however, life’s many turns often modify decisions made early in life. In 1961 he was working for the post office, painting, writing poetry, and supporting a family. Something had to give, so he made the decision to continue as a painter and support his family, which meant that he would stop writing poetry. The change was profound for his work to this day. His paintings and later his prints became poetic, mysterious, and inviting.

Trees, a composition. Robert Kipniss. Mezzotint, 2014. Image size 9 1/2 x 11 1/2" (235 x 295 mm). Edition 30.

Trees, a composition. Robert Kipniss. Mezzotint, 2014. Image size 9 1/2 x 11 1/2″ (235 x 295 mm). Edition 30.

He made his first prints, drypoints, in 1967. In 1968 he discovered lithography and connected to that form of printmaking for the next twenty-two years. Working with the master printers at George C. Miller in New York, he produced over 400 lithographic images. After Miller closed, he went back to intaglio, producing primarily mezzotints with an occasional drypoint.

Kipniss paintings and prints are in over seventy-five museums worldwide and many private collections. He is a member of the National Academy in New York, The Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers in London, The Society of American Graphic Artists, and the Century Association.

Eaves with Dark Window. Robert Kipniss. Pencil drawing on mylar, 1990. Image size 13 1/2 x 13 1/2" (343 x 343 mm).

Eaves with Dark Window. Robert Kipniss. Pencil drawing on mylar, 1990. Image size 13 1/2 x 13 1/2″ (343 x 343 mm).

Afternoon Breezes. Robert Kipniss. Pencil drawing, 2010. Image size 14 15/16 x 16 1/4" (380 x 420 mm).

Afternoon Breezes. Robert Kipniss. Pencil drawing, 2010. Image size 14 15/16 x 16 1/4″ (380 x 420 mm).

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Woodcut

“Trees of Takao”. Poetry and Woodcuts by Su-Li Hung

In addition to our current retrospective of Su-Li Hung and Richard Sloat’s woodcuts, the gallery is currently offering several of Su-Li’s books for sale. A printmaker and poet, Su-Li has published over 30 articles and books, and we are happy to be able to present three of them at the gallery: “Meeting the Marvelous Phoenix”, “Little Lily’s Birth Journey”, and  “Trees of Takao”.

“Trees of Takao”. Poetry and Woodcuts by Su-Li Hung. 2010.

This book published in Taipei, Taiwan includes 55-color illustrations of Hung’s woodcuts, 66 poems in Chinese with 11 translated into English. Takao, which means bamboo fence, is the aboriginal name of Hung’s birthplace. Takao was changed to Kaohsiung during the Japanese occupation of Taiwan, between the years of 1895-1945. Even after living in New York City for many years, the harbor city of Takao remains a wellspring of creative energy for the artist. Excerpt from “Trees of Takao” below:

 

Farewell to the Sea
By Su-Li Hung, 1970. English translation by Tommy McClellan.

Siren beauty here burst forth in riotous color
the unruly song of les femme de la mer
is barely heard, and dies away
shivering dawn

The great winds and broad swell of the ocean
bring choice titbit-tattle from the far shore
while each sand dune
is another lover’s home

As I climb to the crest, I know longer believe the myths
of this shore and that shore
or that the way I wash my hair today
determines the cleanliness of my body tomorrow

Every wave says,
“This is as far as I can take you”
Nonchalant I look around and reply
“This will do.”

 

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