Artist talks

Tuesday night I heard a terrific artist talk at Arion Press. Ashwini Bhatt’s ceramic sculpture is compelling, but even more so when she relates it to her history in dance, to the body, and to Indian temple art.  Here are a few photos from her talk:









I wish I’d thought to record it.  And here is a recording of another, very different artist, Xylor Jane, explaining how she works.

I was lucky to see her show in New York at Canada, a gallery in Tribeca.

Ukiyo-e at the Asian Art Museum

grabhornLast week, a new show of wood block prints, scrolls and artifacts from Japan’s “floating world” opened at the Asian Art Museum. The wood block prints are from a collection donated to the museum by the widow of Robert Grabhorn, who first with his brother Edwin and later with Andrew Hoyem, ran  Grabhorn Press, the iconic letterpress print shop. This press exists now as Arion Press and the Grabhorn Institute.

In any case, the prints are worth a long, leisurely look. There are some videos of the process, too. It’s an intense, collaborative effort.  The artist draws the image, and the woodblock cutter makes a block for each color.  The papermaker makes the paper, and the printer prints a single run for each color. The blocks must match exactly to provide the perfect registration of each color into the whole.

If you can’t make it, here’s a taste. The text accompanying the prints is comprehensive, and it noted in the bathhouse image below, there are shadows of the objects on the wall, probably influenced by Western engravings:


I had never noticed that these prints are generally shadowless. Continue reading “Ukiyo-e at the Asian Art Museum”