American Views, Contemporary, Drypoint, Early 20th Century, Lithograph, Past/Present, Prints

Past/Present: Rain

Today we have a new P/P post, featuring two rainy day prints by Martin Lewis and Richard Florsheim. Martin Lewis was born on June 7, 1881 in Castlemaine, Australia. He was the second of eight children and he had a passion for drawing. At the age of fifteen he left home and traveled in New South Wales and New Zealand, working as a post hole digger and a merchant seaman before settling into a Bohemian community outside of Sidney. Two of his drawings were published in a radical Sydney newspaper, the Bulletin. He also studied with Julian Ashton at the Art Society’s School in Sydney. Ashton, a famous painter, was also one the first Australian artists to take up printmaking.

In 1900, Lewis left for the United States. His first known job after arriving in the United States was painting stage decorations for the McKinley Presidential Campaign of 1900. Little is known of his early years in this country; however, by 1909 he was living and working in New York City. With the exception of a few years, he spent the rest of his life in and around the city. His earliest etching dates from 1915 but shows a technical ability that suggests that he had been working in the medium for some time. During these early years, Lewis experimented with different intaglio processes including etching, aquatint, engraving, mezzotint, and drypoint.

In 1920, Lewis left for Japan, a turning point in his artistic career. He studied the art and culture of Japan. During his eighteen-month stay, he spent his time painting in both oil and watercolor. He did not work in printmaking again until 1925, when he produced a group of etchings and drypoints depicting Japan. These new prints led him several years later to produce many memorable images of New York City. The period of 1925 through 1935 was his most productive, during which he produced eighty-one of his one hundred and forty-eight known prints.

Richard Florsheim was active as a painter, sculptor and graphics artist in Chicago, Milwaukee, Provincetown, and Woodstock, New York. Florsheim was born in Chicago in 1916, to a very wealthy family. He spent his youth and early adulthood studying at the University of Chicago and in New York with artist Aaron Bohrod. His father paid for a lengthy European independent study, where Florsheim exhibited at Salon des Refusés, and the Musée du Jeu de Paume honored him by purchasing one of his paintings, Don Quixote.

Florsheim returned to Chicago in 1939, and began lithography in 1940, exhibiting at the Quest Gallery and working out of a studio on North Avenue. He then enlisted in the US Navy, active in the Pacific Theater as a cartographer. It was at this time that he also obtained patents for his radar plane-spotting technique.

After the war, he resumed his artistic career, exhibiting widely. He helped found the Artists’ League of the Midwest with Artists’ Equity Association of New York. He was assistant director of the Arts Center Association, 1951-52, and taught at the Layton School of Art in Milwaukee from 1949 to 1950, and the Contemporary Art Workshop in Chicago from 1952 to 1963. From 1965 to 1973, he was a board member of the Illinois Arts Council.  Florsheim was a member of the National Academy of Design, the Society of American Graphic Artists, the Provincetown Art Association, which he served as Trustee and Vice President from 1962 to 1971, and the Chicago Society of Artists.

Image on Right: Rain on Murray Hill.  By Martin Lewis. Drypoint, 1928. Recorded impressions 100.

Image on Left: City Rain. By Richard Florsheim. Published by The Associated American Artists. Lithograph, 1976. Edition of 250.

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Color Lithograph, Early 20th Century, Etching, Lithograph, Past/Present, Prints

Past/Present: Industry

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Today we have two scenes, filled with billowing gases and vapors and industry smoke stacks. The older print, a 1927 etching by Anton Schutz, depicts the Brooklyn Edison Plan.  When it opened in 1901, Brooklyn Edison’s Waterside station was physically the world’s largest generating plant. With a rated capacity of 120,000 kilowatts, it had more than 10 times the capacity of their earlier-built plant on Pearl Street. Waterside eventually became a pioneer of what today is called cogeneration; the plant produced steam for heating and cooling with electricity as a by-product.

The other selected print is by Richard Florsheim, a 20th century artist who, in his later work, focused on the impact of lights and industry on our landscape. He is famous for scenes of city lights reflecting and refracting in water, and the flames and smoke of industry set against night skies. He found beauty in the landscape of industry and in man-made creations like skyscrapers and street lights.

Image on the Left: Brooklyn Edison Plant. (First state). By Anton Schutz. Etching, c. 1927. Signed in pencil. Inscribed “First state.”

Image on the Right: Catalysts. By Richard Florsheim.  Color lithograph, 1978. Trial proof before the edition of 220. Signed in pencil. Commissioned by the Rexnord Corp., Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

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Contemporary, Early 20th Century, Etching, Lithograph, Oil Painting, Serigraph, Silver Gelatin Print, Watercolor, Woodcut

Online Summer Shows at the Old Print Shop- Pt. 2

Our NYC sister shop, the Old Print Shop, has three fantastic summer shows going on right now. We encourage all New York City residents to stop by their shop and view these impressive shows. For those living outside the 10016 zip code, you can view all three summer shows  online, through their exhibition tab on their website.  Below is a preview of one of their shows, City Heat.

Sunset Whispers. By Richard Sloat. Watercolor, 2005-6.

City Heat:

New York City is a fascinating place to be, especially in the summer. The bitter cold of winter has passed, the plant life has returned and the concrete jungle is transformed once more into the hot, sticky, tourist-filled place it’s known to be. Sites are seen, rides are ridden and gridlock fills the air with noise. Explore New York like you never have before – through the eyes of its artists.

Welcome to the City Heat exhibition. Welcome to New York in the summer.

Bowery. By Su-Li Hung. Woodcut, 1997.

Summer Night. By Harry Brodsky. Lithograph, c.1950.

City Children, The Drum. By Rae Russel. Vintage silver gelatin print, 1950.

Metropolis. By Richard Florsheim. Serigraph, 1979.

Central Park Summer. By Clare Romano. Color woodcut, 1957.

The Heart of Coney Island. By Alan Petrulis. Etching, 2005.

Metro. By Michael DiCerbo. Acrylic and watercolor on canvas, 1999.

To view City Heat online, click here. We blogged about The Art of Sporting exhibit yesterday, and it can be viewed here. Make sure to tune in later in the week for information about their third summer exhibit!

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19th Century Prints, Early 20th Century, Lithograph, Past/Present

Past/Present: Yachting

Today we have a new P/P post, featuring two yachting prints. The older print,  is a chromolithograph, after a famous painting by Frederick S. Cozzens. It is plate XXII in ” American Yachts.” The more recent print is by early 20th century artist Richard Florsheim. The print we feature of his, Moored Boats, is an artist proof, printed before the  full edition of 250. It was published by Associated American Artists, a gallery and publishing house founded in 1935 by Reeves Lewenthal. Associated American Artists was founded to bring art to the middle class in post-depression era America, and featured many of the great 20th century Regionalist printmakers- Grant Wood, Thomas Hart Benton, and Peggy Bacon, to name a few.

Image on Left: In Down East Waters- Boston Bay. By Frederick S. Lozzens. Engraved by Armstrong & Co. Published by Charles Scribner’s Sons, NY. Chromolithograph, 1884.

Image on Right: Moored Boats. By Richard Florsheim. Published by Associated American Artists. Lithograph, 1961.

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