Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Interviews: (on index cards) Nabokov and the Reeders

Excerpts below from Vladimir Nabokov: The Art of Fiction No. 40. Full interview at the Paris Review No. 41 (Summer-Fall 1967).
Could you say something of your work habits? Do you write to a preplanned chart? Do you jump from one section to another, or do you move from the beginning through to the end?

The pattern of the thing precedes the thing. I fill in the gaps of the crossword at any spot I happen to choose. These bits I write on index cards until the novel is done. My schedule is flexible, but I am rather particular about my instruments: lined Bristol cards and well sharpened, not too hard, pencils capped with erasers.

Is there a community of which you consider yourself a part?

Not really. I can mentally collect quite a large number of individuals whom I am fond of, but they would form a very disparate and discordant group if gathered in real life, on a real island. Otherwise, I would say that I am fairly comfortable in the company of American intellectuals who have read my books.

What is most characteristic of poshlust in contemporary writing? Are there temptations for you in the sin of poshlust? Have you ever fallen?

“Poshlust,” or in a better transliteration poshlost, has many nuances, and evidently I have not described them clearly enough in my little book on Gogol, if you think one can ask anybody if he is tempted by poshlost. Corny trash, vulgar clichés, Philistinism in all its phases, imitations of imitations, bogus profundities, crude, moronic, and dishonest pseudo-literature—these are obvious examples. Now, if we want to pin down poshlost in contemporary writing, we must look for it in Freudian symbolism, moth-eaten mythologies, social comment, humanistic messages, political allegories, overconcern with class or race, and the journalistic generalities we all know. Poshlost speaks in such concepts as “America is no better than Russia” or “We all share in Germany's guilt.” The flowers of poshlost bloom in such phrases and terms as “the moment of truth,” “charisma,” “existential” (used seriously), “dialogue” (as applied to political talks between nations), and “vocabulary” (as applied to a dauber). Listing in one breath Auschwitz, Hiroshima, and Vietnam is seditious poshlost. Belonging to a very select club (which sports one Jewish name—that of the treasurer) is genteel poshlost. Hack reviews are frequently poshlost, but it also lurks in certain highbrow essays. Poshlost calls Mr. Blank a great poet and Mr. Bluff a great novelist. One of poshlost's favorite breeding places has always been the Art Exhibition; there it is produced by so-called sculptors working with the tools of wreckers, building crankshaft cretins of stainless steel, Zen stereos, polystyrene stinkbirds, objects trouvés in latrines, cannonballs, canned balls. There we admire the gabinetti wall patterns of so-called abstract artists, Freudian surrealism, roric smudges, and Rorschach blots—all of it as corny in its own right as the academic “September Morns” and “Florentine Flowergirls” of half a century ago. The list is long, and, of course, everybody has his bête noire, his black pet, in the series. Mine is that airline ad: the snack served by an obsequious wench to a young couple—she eyeing ecstatically the cucumber canapé, he admiring wistfully the hostess. And, of course, Death in Venice. You see the range.

Excerpts below from Scott and Tyson Reeder Talk to Each Other (Jan-Feb 2008), The NY Arts Magazine.

If you could hire anyone throughout art history as your studio assistant who would it be?
Scott Reeder: Joseph Albers—it seems like he would be really organized and have really clean brushes, plus he seems to be pretty good with color. Warhol would also be a nice assistant because he would be good at attracting other interesting assistants and he would always come up with the easiest way to do something.

Tyson Reeder: Don Van Vliet, a.k.a. Captain Beefheart. A painter who could help me with my titles and play sax.

How do you get your ideas?
S: I have a system of notebooks where I write down things that pop into my head. It’s all numbered and color-coded (I use a four-color pen). Green is for art ideas. Red is for video and film ideas. Blue is for music and sound ideas. And black is what I use to write down boring information like grocery lists.

T: I have hundreds of small drawings on index cards that have become my own dictionary of colors, marks, accidental stains, and spills that I draw from in order to make distortions of Midwestern rural and urban space, small town freaks, and regional history.


If you had to come up with a name for it what would you call the art movement that is going on right now?
S: “Image Searchism” or maybe “more broken mirrors.”
T: “punk for sale” or “post-good.”

If you wrote a manifesto what would it be titled?
S: Not sure what it would be titled, but the text would be all dingbats.
T: “Let's Make Something New”

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Happy Holidaze, and Mewwy Kissed-mouse!

With love, from Julia.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

New print: Jo

Julia V. Hendrickson, Jo (2010)
Photopolymer etching in brown ink on cream paper
1.75 x 2.25" (plate), 5 x 7" (sheet)
Commissioned print, private collection. 
Photographer unknown.

This is a print I made recently, commissioned by a dear friend as a Christmas gift for his mother. It's a photograph of her as a little girl. It turned out quite small, and is a very sweet little piece.

Please contact me at the address below if you're interested in something similar! 
sendmissiveshere [at] gmail.com

Monday, December 20, 2010

Gift Guide 3: Chicago-made prints

Since I normally spend most of my waking hours looking at, thinking about, and handling prints, I thought I'd give a little run-down on some of the coolest giftable prints that are out in Chicago right now. Here is a selection of my favorites, in no particular order.

(Disclosure: I am friends with some of these artists, but I made these choices on my own, and this gift guide aims to be bias-free!)
Darwin's Finches, 5-color screenprint, $30 (Diana Sudyka);  
Pigeon with Toy Car, 8-color screenprint, $100 (Jay Ryan). 

Urban Gardening letterpress print, $12;
Silent film-inspired letterpress cards (HELLO! and Seeing You), $3/ea.

In Search of Cromwell Dixon 9-color screenprint, $60;
Collaboration with Chicago artist Rachel Niffenegger, 9-color screenprint, $100.

RYAN KAPP (Chicago, IL)           
Skokie Night, 11-color screenprint, $45.

CROSSHAIR (Chicago, IL)           
Fort #3, 10-color screenprint, $80.

Folk Pattern, 3-color screenprint, $20;
Fire Truck, 1-color screenprint, $15.

Winter Garden, 4-color screenprint, $50.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

New work: "Hey, don't drop dat der."

Julia V. Hendrickson, Hey, don't drop dat der. (2010)
Photopolymer etching with collage on paper.
5x7 (image), 9x12 (sheet).

Click the image to view larger.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Music video: Mates of State "Get Better"

Mates of State - Get Better from daniel garcia on Vimeo.

My morning anthem for the time being. From Mates of State's 2008 album Re-Arrange Us.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Video: Sensorium Show's "Disconnected"

Russell's got a new video up on The Sensorium Show, and I helped! With hands and brain power. He did the wizardry. Featuring: my ghost hands and hands-poking-stuff. Those thorns were killer.

If you click "Subscribe" to his channel, you can get an email when he posts new work!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Gift Ideas 2: Out-of-town favorites from Renegade Chicago!

Featuring products from my three favorite out-of-towners from Chicago's Holiday Renegade fair! These are all works on paper, but, gee whiz, I just couldn't help myself!
 JUST A JAR (Marietta, OH)
Fin de siècle letterpress charm

These cards can be found on Etsy here.

I'm always a sucker for all-things-Ohio, so this little press from the southeastern corner of my home state caught my eye. Sara Alway & Bobby Rosenstock have got a good sense of humor, and these remind me a little of another Ohio favorite, Married to the Sea (here's my vote for a collaboration!). Just A Jar's other projects are neat, too, including a series of posters with quotations from the German philosopher Martin Heidegger; a Do THIS, not THAT classroom (mis)behavior guide poster series; and a Spring 2011 forthcoming book called Soil Mates: A Vegetable Dating Guide. Neato!

1CANOE2 (Columbia, MO)
Whimsical, illustration-based letterpress

Carrie Shryock & Beth Snyder have some seriously sweet handwriting; the fanciful script is distinctive, the colors bright, and their tendency to organize fun and functional. I've always wanted a collection of "Things That Are Round," as the coasters above illustrate, and the skewed proportions of "Things That Are Long" looks like my kind of math. Those rainbow-hued recipe cards above come with a handmade wooden box that is really mouth-watering (and it just got picked up by Anthropologie, so you may be seeing loads more of the like in the near future).

KRANK PRESS (Los Angeles, CA)
Modern, simple letterpress cards and prints

Eleanor Nissley works as an architect in LA, and her organized, modern architectural aesthetic shows in her letterpress work. The New York Times Magazine did a post about her back in January 2010, which you can read here.

I love perpetual calendars, and a beautiful, functional calendar that tells you what produce is in season for your area is right up my alley. She had Chicago-area produce calendars at Renegade, but they aren't offered on her website right now, so contact her if you'd like to order one.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Gift Ideas: Local favorites from Renegade Chicago!

This weekend marked the 5th Annual Holiday Renegade Craft Fair in Chicago, held at the beautiful Pulaski Park Fieldhouse. I worked Saturday at the Ork Posters booth, and yesterday got a chance to browse around. It was such a treat to know so many wonderful artists and craftspeople at Renegade this year, mainly through my involvement in the Chicago Printers Guild, and I was really proud of all the hard work my friends put into their stands.

Since I most often write about printmaking and works on paper, I wanted to share a handful of my favorite shops that are based in Chicago that have nothing to do with paper (in no particular order), and a piece or two I liked from each one... gift guide alert!

(Check back soon, because there are more out-of-town favorites from Renegade to come in the next few days!)

Hand-printed fabrics, bags, and accessories

Jessica Taylor, under the name of Fiori Falsi, is a talented friend and fellow printmaker. She screenprints patterns onto the fabric herself, and offers a wonderful line of fashionable, sturdy, well-made bags and purses. She's also able to make custom bags, if you have specific things you want (everyone is picky about their purse!). If you like her style and want to give one as a gift, she offers gift certificates through her website as well (so that way your recipient can customize his/her own!). I've been longing for one for ages!

Hand-printed fabrics, linens, and cards

Katy Collier is another talented friend and fellow artist (originally from Portland, OR) whose work I love. Her drawing and illustration style is charming and sweet, and she uses simple plant imagery in her linocut prints on fabric. If you have any newborns in your life, she has onesies, and if you'd like to give a housewarming gift, her curtains, tea towels, and napkins are all perfect for such an occasion.

MAKER and MAKER (Chicago, IL)
Handmade, limited-edition ceramics.

In the persons of Andy Hunt, Tim Woodbrey, and Ali Gibbons, Maker and Maker has clean and simple forms, with funky, rustic designs and glazes. This particular line is classic, vintage Americana. My favorite piece was the buffalo sculpture below (also in rust color). Keep an eye on their Etsy page for new work. They'll be releasing new lines of limited-edition ceramics (new designs, and new glazes) every few months, I believe.

Durable, functional accessories and bags made from recycled clothes and fabric (with a preppy twist!)

I was very much drawn to the beautiful fabrics (those stripes are just calling my name!) that the folks at Winter Session use, and pleased to see that they use re-purposed clothes to make many or most of their products. Everything is already a little worn and immensely touchable, with that soft, old-cotton feel that you get from favorite shirts you've had lying around for years. They also make smaller accesories that were for sale at Renegade (but not visible on the website) and neat scarves from old men's button-down shirts that drape beautifully and look awesome.


Thursday, December 2, 2010


My dear friend Russell Weiss has been working on a project he calls The Sensorium Show, a strange kind of video sketchbook chock-full of hypothetical worlds and inane ponderings: a delight in visual-aural experimentation. Here are the first three videos he's posted, but be sure to check back at the Sensorium Show on YouTube for new videos in the coming weeks.

Watch these, if you can, in full screen HD (change the button that says 360p to read 720p or 1080p) with some good speakers. 

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Poem/Video: Burroughs says "Thanks"

A Thanksgiving Prayer, from the year of my birth. Read the text here.

Dear William S. Burroughs, not a whole lot has changed.

Via Isaac Fitzagerald at The Rumpus.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Lit: Alice Munro's "The Love of a Good Woman"

Illustration for The Love of a Good Woman, pen and graphite on paper
Julia V. Hendrickson, 2010

Feeling a decided lack of intellectual, literary discussion in my life of late, I've started a new feminist book club with some lady friends o' mine. We're reading a book a month, and are also in the planning stages of making a monthly (or perhaps quarterly) zine. For the first book, I selected a stunning collection of short stories by Canadian author Alice Munro (b. 1931), who in 2009 won the Booker Prize for a lifetime body of work.

The Love of a Good Woman, published in 1998, is a collection of eight stories set primarily in British Columbia and Ontario, Canada, and spanning many decades. Munro's mostly female protagonists are haunting; the stories are filled with silence and secrets that have as much to do with place as they has to do with the lives of "good women". The title story, the first in the collection, is slow to unfold, and Munro's measured process of revealing a small town makes the reader's entry into her work an uphill battle. Yet, as time progresses, and the macabre relationship is revealed between the "good woman", Enid, and Mrs. Quinn, the woman in her care, the steady pacing is rewarding, soothing, even, amidst the always lingering sense of threatened disaster, and minds going over the edge.

This miasma in the minds of Munro's characters, and her purposeful use of language and of place, reminded me very much of Virginia Woolf, whose presence echoes quietly throughout the lives of Munro's women. In the story, Cortes Island, the unnamed narrator is reading Woolf's To the Lighthouse. In Jakarta, two married women (Kath and Sonje) are in strange, unsatisfactory relationships that beg for release, socially trapped by their male partners in a very Woolfian way. Indeed, Woolf's Clarissa from Mrs. Dalloway is referenced in Jakarta: "'Oh, Sonje, are you going to be the tactful hostess?' the older woman said. 'Like somebody in Virginia Woolf?' So it seemed Virginia Woolf was at a discount, too. There was so much Kath didn't understand." (pp. 96)

The passage from Jakarta below (referring to a D.H. Lawrence story, The Fox) also reminded me very much of something from To the Lighthouse:

The soldier knows that they will not be truly happy until the woman gives her life over to him, in a way that she has not done so far. March is still struggling against him, to hold herself separate from him, she is making them both obscurely miserable by her efforts to hang on to her woman's soul, her woman's mind. She must stop this--she must stop thinking and stop wanting and let her consciousness go under, until it is submerged in his. Like the reeds that wave below the surface of the water. Look down, look down--see how the reeds wave in the water, they are alive but they never break the surface. And that is how her female nature must live within his male nature. Then she will be happy and he will be strong and content. Then they will have achieved a true marriage. Kath says that she thinks this is stupid. [...] She can't stand that part about the reeds and the water, she feels bloated and suffocated with incoherent protest. (pp. 84-85)

The imagery of the reeds/ woman, waving like an Ophelia below the water, is powerful, and has lingered in my mind over the past few weeks. It reminded me of one of my favorite Woolf passages: “Beneath it is all dark, it is all spreading, it is unfathomably deep; but now and again we rise to the surface and that is what you see us by.” (Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse). The water is self, and gender, and narrative, and memory; its presence is imperative for understanding, and inescapable.

Memory, which plays such an important role in Woolf's writing, is important to Munro's sense of narrative as well; Munro discusses this in a recent interview:

Memory is the way we keep telling ourselves our stories—and telling other people a somewhat different version of our stories. We can hardly manage our lives without a powerful ongoing narrative. And underneath all these edited, inspired, self-serving or entertaining stories there is, we suppose, some big bulging awful mysterious entity called THE TRUTH, which our fictional stories are supposed to be poking at and grabbing pieces of. What could be more interesting as a life’s occupation? One of the ways we do this, I think, is by trying to look at what memory does (different tricks at different stages of our lives) and at the way people’s different memories deal with the same (shared) experience. The more disconcerting the differences are, the more the writer in me feels an odd exhilaration. (January 8th, 2010 interview).

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Video: Flying Lotus (...with kindness)

Flying Lotus - Kill Your Co-Workers from beeple on Vimeo.

Hilarious and creepy. Directed by Beeple, aka Mike Winkleman, based in Neenah, Wisconsin. His Everyday self-educational project is pretty neat.

Music by Flying Lotus. Animators can download the source files and mess around with the characters from the video.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Illustration: Lesbidrama

Julia V. Hendrickson, Lesbidrama 
Graphite on paper
November 2010

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Wit / Lit: Amy Sedaris and Lynda Barry

Two awesome women both have new books out this month, and they'll both be in Chicago in the next few days...

I still get night sweats when thinking about the fold-out poster of Sedaris covered in icing and sprinkles that was hidden in her last book, I Like You. Her recently published "crafts for poor people" book, Simple Times, looks similarly heart rate-increasing (come on, a section called "Fornicrafting"?!).

She's doing a book signing this Saturday, November 13th at the Borders Books in downtown Chicago (830 N. Michigan) at 3pm, and will also demonstrate the very necessary how-to secrets behind tinfoil balls and crepe–paper moccasins.

Be sure to read this hilarious interview with her at the Rumpus.  

Of course it's a candle salad. 
With a doily, an extra-long match, and that signature Sedaris mayonnaise dressing.


Equally glee-inducing, contemporary comic art great Lynda Barry is also coming to Chicago! She's giving a lecture and a reading at SAIC (280 S. Columbus Drive) at 6pm on Monday, November 15th from/ on her new graphic narrative, Picture This: The Near-Sighted Monkey Book. I know I've always needed to LEARN HOW TO ART. 

It's from Drawn & Quarterly, everyone's favorite classy Canadian comics publisher. Bring along your yellow lined legal pads, kids, it's gonna be a good talk to doodle to.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Watch: Chris Ware's Animated "Quimby the Mouse"

Quimby The Mouse from This American Life on Vimeo.

I may be a year late getting this newsflash, but my jaw dropped with delight when I watched this yesterday, via a friend in Pittsburgh. A more perfect marriage I never did see: Chris Ware and animation! Quimby the Mouse is particularly suited to movement and slapstick humor, and Chris Ware's flat visual style works perfectly with Flash animation (reminds me of Felix the Cat cartoons from the 1930s and 1940s). From the This American Life - LIVE! 2009 special, Ware did the drawings, animated by John Kuramoto (who also worked with the New York-based animation studio, Twinkle, on the animations for American Splendor).

Two other more traditional, personal narrative-based This American Life collaborations between Ware and Kuramoto can be seen here (Kids building video cameras, 2007) and here (False memories of Jackie Kennedy, 2008).

More info about Chris Ware at Chicago's Carl Hammer Gallery, and Bad At Sports interviews Ware in a podcast from March 2009.

The song is Eugene by Andrew Bird.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Listen: Sharon Van Etten

I had the pleasure of seeing Sharon Van Etten perform last night at Lincoln Hall, as an opener for Junip, José González's new band. While I still like his music, José González was less than inspiring, and frankly, nap-inducing as a performer. I think he may be coasting along on his Swedish-Argentine charm and some of that newfound attention a little too much (he's the recent subject of a documentary, The Extraordinary Ordinary Life of José González, for instance). Perhaps the band allows him to hold back as well. However, as much I was disappointed with Junip, the trek was worth it to see Sharon Van Etten.

Above and beyond the fact that she's cute as a Brooklyn button, and her tattoos are rad, she's a very sincere, humble, passionate performer. NPR has her new album, Epic, streaming here, if you're interested. The songs "One Day," "For You," and "Love More" (with a hand-pumped piano) stand out, and will surely be echoing through the autumnal halls of my apartment for the new few days.

Image of Van Etten from Schneidblog.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Feature: Lorna Simpson / Harold Washington Library

A few weeks ago I spent a very enjoyable afternoon in nerd-dom doing art history research at the Harold Washington Public Library in downtown Chicago. The 8th floor is where all of the art books reside, and while my ravenous intellectual fingers were dismayed to realize that practically every art book in a public library is special collections and/ or reference (and therefore not touchable or browseable by the common woman, but must be personally requested), I still had a really good time. I'm quite sure I worried the reference desk attendant however, by showing her a list of over 20 items that I wanted to see. Academic libraries, and access to material, has spoiled me dreadfully.

Regardless, my quest was for books about Christopher Wool, research in preparation for the current Sound on Sound exhibit at Corbett vs. Dempsey, but I discovered many other wonderful things in the process. (Aside: the catalogue for the Hammer Museum's 2008 exhibition Oranges & Sardines: Conversations about Abstract Painting is really quite good. The title comes from a stellar Frank O'Hara poem, Why I Am Not A Painter, which you can, and should, read here. This particular catalogue can actually be requested through inter-library loan in Chicago, and is recommended as a resource for anyone interested in contemporary abstract art. The premise of the show was to ask abstract painters to list artists and artworks which influence them, and to create an exhibition around both the contemporary work and the tangential, inflential work. I wish I could have seen it in person).

In my journey up to the 8th floor, however, I came across a surprising fact: the Harold Washington Public Library has an art collection! The list of current and upcoming exhibitions can be found here, and currently Christine Perri has work on display. Mitchiko Itatani has a huge painting in one of the first floor stairwells, and (my personal favorite) one of Lorna Simpson's photograph-sculptures is featured prominently by the elevators on the 8th floor. I couldn't find an image of the exact piece, but it's very similar to the work below (titled Flipside) which is part of the Guggenheim's collection.

 Flipside, 1991. © Lorna Simpson
Two gelatin silver prints and engraved plastic plaque, diptych, edition 2/3, 51 1/2 x 70 inches (130.8 x 177.8 cm) overall . 
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Purchased with funds contributed by the Photography Committee  2007.32. 

Simpson's text is usually what draws me in. Her sense of humor is quiet yet unabashedly satirical, and the simple aesthetic (the black & white photography, the typography, labels, etc) that she often uses makes her work misleadingly "retro" and safe.

I was first exposed to Simpson at the very beginning of college, via a 2008 exhibition at the College of Wooster Art Museum curated by a wonderful art history professor, John Siewert, and organized by the talented and resourceful Kitty McManus-Zurko. Lorna Simpson's work has haunted me ever since. The 1960s nostalgia her work evokes (and ultimately destroys) probably has something to do, for me, with those young, heady college days. I was also reminded of her contemporary work while visiting Minneapolis' Walker Art Center earlier this spring in the small but powerful exhibition titled, Recollection: Lorna Simpson.

 Lorna Simpson, Wigs II (1996-2006), waterless lithographs on felt. 
N.B. This image is from Simpson's website, but I believe the Walker owns a smaller version of this piece, Wigs (portfolio), from 1994.

As a printmaker, the piece Wigs II, shown above, blew me away. Lithographs on felt! Of course! So tactile and simple, so elegant, and so surreal. You can see much more of Simpson's work on her website here.

I hope, if you are able, that you make a trek to the Harold Washington library to see Simpson's work, and explore enough to find other hidden gems that are part of the collection.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

New Work: Prints

Julia V. Hendrickson, Untitled (2010)
Photopolymer etching in blue ink on cream paper.
Photograph by the artist. 

Julia V. Hendrickson, Untitled (2010)
Photopolymer etching in black ink on ivory paper.
Photograph by the artist.

Two new prints (printed at Spudnik Press during the non-toxic photo etching workshop I taught there) the first in luscious cyan. Branching out with color and I like the cyanotype effect.

Scans of these prints are strange, because it's digital > physical > digital again, but, so be it.

It's begging for a little collage...

Monday, November 1, 2010

Feature: Eyeworks Festival (Chicago)

Some of my favorite Chicago artists, in the persons of Sonnenzimmer (Nick Butcher and Nadine Nakanishi), Lillie Carré, and Alexander Stewart (who created the beautiful animated 2005 Errata), have teamed up to produce something pretty darn awesome: Sonnenzimmer designed and printed 200 silkscreened posters that vary a little bit between each print, and which compose an animated advertisment for the 2010 Eyeworks Festival of Experimental Animation!

Eyeworks Festival 2010 Poster Trailer from Alexander Stewart on Vimeo.

How cool is that? Organized by Carré and Stewart, the Festival takes place this coming Saturday, November 6th, at 247 S. State Street, with video showings at 1:00pm and 3:00pm. At 7:00, animator David O'Reilly will present some of his work, including his much-lauded The External World (which premiered at the 67th Venice Film Festival). Can't wait for this.

Artist: Erwin Wurm

There was an opening yesterday at the Jack Hanley Gallery in NYC, and it featured a myriad of gherkins. Yes, zee pickles. A haunting, upright, righteous horde of 26 of them, titled Selbstporträt als Gurken.

Austrian artist Erwin Wurm (b. 1954) strikes again with good humor and aplomb. Realism, Formalism, and Cucumberism are salted and thrown to the wind. Obvious phallic gags aside, Wurm's portraits just make me laugh, for which his work is much appreciated. A charming video from the Submarine Channel's Pretty Cool People Interviews series below casts another light on Wurm's personality. It showcases Wurm's famous One Minute Sculptures which he has been making and photographing for the last few decades.

Erwin Wurm - Pretty Cool People Interviews from SubmarineChannel on Vimeo.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Print/ Video: Oil & Water Do Not Mix

 Designed by Anthony Burrill, created by Happiness Brussells, for the Coalition to Restore Costal Louisiana. 
Screen printed with oil from the Gulf of Mexico, limited edition of 200, 76.2 cm x 50.8 cm. Signed and numbered in pencil.

OIL & WATER DO NOT MIX from Happiness Brussels on Vimeo.
The song is by Queens of the Stone Age, "Make It Witchu".

What an idea! Belgian design collective Happiness Brussells conceived and United Kingdom-based  Anthony Burrill designed, taking action to raise money for the Coalition to Restore Costal Louisiana. New Orleans print shop Purple Monkey did the leg work.

The idea: use traditional screenprinting methods combined with the oil washing up from the Gulf of Mexico. I wonder about the toxicity of the oil (why weren't they wearing gloves, ack!), but it does look like they baked the prints at the end, so perhaps that sears away any nasties. At a whopping 150 Euro, these puppies ain't cheap (but, hey, neither are oil spill disasters, eh?). You can read more about the cause at Gulf of Mexico 2010.

More of Burrill's witty truisms can be seen below.

Anthony Burrill. Work Hard. Woodblock poster, open edition, signed in pencil, 51x76cm.
Printed by Adams of Rye onto 100% recycled sugar paper using traditional woodblock printing techniques.

Anthony Burrill. I Like It. Woodblock poster, open edition, signed in pencil, 51x76 cm
Printed by Adams of Rye onto 100% recycled paper using traditional woodblock printing techniques

Anthony Burrill. Temporary window designs for the Colette shop in  Paris.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Artists: Mamma Andersson & Jockum Nordström

San Francisco's Crown Point Press just announced a new edition of etchings from Swedish artists and partners Mamma Andersson (b. 1962) and Jockum Nordström (b. 1963). Hot diggity, these are beautiful! Be sure to watch the short video below, released by Crown Point Press, of Mamma Andersson discussing the work.

I really love the subtle influences in tone and space of early 20th century French and Belgian artists (e.g. Vuillard and Ensor). This, combined with a decidedly mid-century modern figurative style and line, recalls the Chicago self-taught artist Henry Darger, as well as Chicago Imagist art, especially that of School of the Art Institute professor/ artist Ray Yoshida. The etchings at the bottom, Pieces and Faces, in particular, remind me of both Yoshida and Christina Ramberg.

David Zwirner (who also represents Chris Ofili) recently presented two solo exhibitions by Andersson and Nordström titled Who is sleeping on my pillow (both from 29 April–12 June, 2010). Accompanying the exhibition is what appears to be an amazing catalogue (of sorts), due to be released on November 30th. It was designed, sweetly enough, by the artists' son, Valentin Nordstrom, and is meant to be part monograph, part artists' book and part personal archive. It includes an interview with the artists, conducted by artist and illustrator Marcel Dzama.

More information about the background and other work of Mamma Andersson and Jockum Nordström can be found on Art Daily, as well at David Zwirner: on Andersson here, and on Nordström here.

Andersson/Nordström: Hunter, 2010
Color spit bite and sugar lift aquatints with aquatint and soft ground etching, 21½ x 28½"
Edition 30, Printer: Emily York, Publisher: Crown Point Press

Andersson/Nordström: Readers, 2010
Color spit bite and sugar lift aquatints with aquatint and soft ground etching, 21½ x 28½"
Edition 30, Printer: Emily York, Publisher: Crown Point Press

 Andersson/Nordström: Lou, 2010
Color spit bite and sugar lift aquatints with aquatint and soft ground etching, 21½ x 28½"
Edition 30, Printer: Emily York, Publisher: Crown Point Press

Andersson/Nordström: Surfers, 2010
Color spit bite and sugar lift aquatints with aquatint and soft ground etching, 28½ x 21½"
Edition 30, Printer: Emily York, Publisher: Crown Point Press

Andersson/Nordström: Pieces, 2010
Color spit bite and sugar lift aquatints with soft ground etching, 28½ x 21½"
Edition 30, Printer: Emily York, Publisher: Crown Point Press

 Andersson/Nordström: Faces, 2010
Color spit bite and sugar lift aquatints with aquatint and soft ground etching, 28½ x 21½"
Edition 30, Printer: Emily York, Publisher: Crown Point Press