Wednesday, July 23, 2014

At the Walker: Art Expanded, 1958–1978

George Brecht (American, 1926–2008)
No Smoking
Offset Lithograph on Paper
Collection of the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota
photo by versluis

George Brecht, was a vital proponent of Fluxus, the loosely connected international group of spirited Conceptualists who were mainly active in the 1960s and 1970s. Below is a promotional clip produced by the Walker.

The following lyrics by Jasper Johns greets the viewer as one enters the exhibition:

One thing working one way
Another thing working another way.
One thing working different ways at different times
Take an object.
Do something to it.
Do something else to it
 "        "         "   "  "
Take a canvas
Put a mark on it.
Put another mark on it
  "      "       "     "  "
Make something.
Find a use for it
Invent a function
Find an object
 —Jasper Johns 1965

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Saturday, July 5, 2014

Goodrich House, Oak Park, Illinois

Harry C. Goodrich House, 1896
Oak Park, Illinois
Frank Lloyd Wright, architect

Current renovations have removed the third story dormers on the east and west sides, leaving the exterior much as Wright had designed it originally. At this point the house is in the process of being prepped for exterior painting.
photograph by versluis, March, 2013

Renovations are being implemented by:
Eifler & Associates Architects, Chicago, Illinois
Bosi Construction, Orland Park, Illinois

Along with the house’s substantial sheltering eves the following quote seems apropos when viewing this house. In an 1894 essay/presentation, possibly titled The Architect and the Machine, Frank Lloyd Wright wrote:

Let your home appear to grow easily from its site and shape it to sympathize with the surroundings if Nature is manifest there, and if not, try and be as quiet, substantial, and organic as she would have been if she had the chance.… 
I might enter here into a discussion of the various merits of the various styles of “house” building, but would end by saying that it matters very little what “style” your house was as long as it was built like a home and with a true consideration for harmony. There should be as many types of homes as there are types of people, for it is the individuality of the occupants that should give character and color to the buildings and furnishings. (1)
  1. Wright, Frank Lloyd. “The Architect and the Machine.” Vol. 1. Frank Lloyd Wright Collected Writings, 1894–1930. Ed. Bruce Brooks Pfeiffer. New York: Rizzoli/The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, 1992. 23. Print.

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Friday, June 20, 2014

the facination of the uplifting authority word / message

David M. Versluis, ©2014
3-color Monoprint
12" x 18"
2014 Society of Typographic Arts Letterpress Workshop:
Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum, Two Rivers, Wisconsin

New work by versluis:
Orchestrating and printing large archaic woodtype letterforms or letter-units by spelling out a word or message. Dividing the word according to syllables suggests a more kinetic effect and message.

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Saturday, June 14, 2014

Society of Typographic Arts & Hamilton Wood Type Museum: 2014 Letterpress Workshop

Recently, the Society of Typographic Arts celebrated the Hamilton Wood Type Museum’s 15th Anniversary with a weekend letterpress workshop,  May 31—June 1 in Two Rivers, Wisconsin.

The workshop was lead by Jim Moran, Director of the Museum and Stephanie Carpenter, Assistant Director of the Museum. The above photograph of one of the wood type displays is courtesy of the STA.

David Versluis, one of the participants, is shown inking wood type from the Museum’s collection, on a Showcard Machine Co. proof press. Versluis states, “Working with wood type is not about nostalgia, but about the unique look and feel of the print quality.” The Museum has 12 presses available for workshop groups. Originally, the Showcard press was used primarily for department stores, libraries, and shop owners to print signs and advertisements.
Photograph by Stephanie Carpenter

David M. Versluis ©2014
12 in. x 18 in.
This is a 4-color print. After the first color yellow was printed, the subsequent colors in the order of orange, red, blue were printed and overlaid while the ink was still wet, resulting in textured areas. The kinetic effect is achieved by intentionally revealing registration issues.

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Sunday, June 8, 2014

Dordt College’s Facebook page changed their cover photo, as of May 29

Dordt College’s Facebook page has changed their cover photo, as of May 29. Looking west from Covenant Hall, with new sculpture “Enlaced: A Burning Bush” in the foreground.

It’s nice that Dordt chose to feature the sculpture on their Facebook page. The sculpture, designed by David M. Versluis, was dedicated and celebrated last fall by the campus community in a ceremony with “choice remarks” by Dr. Calvin Seerveld. You may visit Seerveld's comments here

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Saturday, May 31, 2014

Three-dimensional design à la Wucius Wong: linear structures

© Kit Drennen, 2014
Dordt College—Three-Dimensional Design Foundations
Linear Structures—top view
photograph by Kit Drennen

Pictured are examples of Dordt College student work from the Three-Dimensional Design course this semester. Artist / designer Wucius Wong writes about linear structures in his book, Principles of Form and Design: Three-Dimensional Design that: “In any geometric form, there are always more edges than faces. Thus construction with lines is more complicated than constructing with planes. Using the cube again as an example, there are only six faces, but there are twelve edges, and the twelve edges become twelve linear sticks which must be connected in order to construct the linear framework of a cube.” (1)

  1. Wong, Wucius. Principles of Form and Design. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1993. 315. Print.

© Kit Drennen, 2014
Dordt College—Three-Dimensional Design Foundations
Linear Structures—elevation
photograph by Kit Drennen

© Kit Drennen, 2014
Dordt College—Three-Dimensional Design Foundations
Linear Structures—close-up
photograph by Kit Drennen

© Wade Vollink, 2014
Dordt College—Three-Dimensional Design Foundations
Linear Structures, Gradation of shape in a layered construction—elevation
photograph by versluis

© Kimberly DeBoer, 2014
Dordt College—Three-Dimensional Design Foundations
Linear Structures—elevation
photograph by Kim DeBoer

© Caleb Vugteveen, 2014
Dordt College—Three-Dimensional Design Foundations
Linear Structures—elevation
Wood — elevation
photograph by Caleb Vugteveen

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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Dordt College summer art exhibit features Behrens/Versluis Iowa insects

Dordt College Campus Center Art Gallery (entrance)

Dordt College is hosting a series of 10 large-scale (40" x 60") digital images of the “Iowa Insect Series,” a collection of collaborative work by artists and graphic designers, Roy R. Behrens and David M. Versluis. The exhibit, subtitled, “Attention to Detail,” will be displayed in the gallery until the end of August.

The idea to produce large scale images came from designer Joseph Michael Essex who suggested that the images would have greater impact if presented in a larger format. Essex was in the audience when Versluis presented the project at the Society of Typographic Arts winter retreat in Chicago in 2013.

Dordt College Art Professor Versluis and University of Northern Iowa Graphic Design Professor Behrens combine rich imagery as they juxtapose representational imagery with graphic elements to create a strong visual dynamic, says Larry Bradshaw, art professor at the University of Nebraska Omaha. In addition, Jonathan Neal an Associate Professor of Entomology at Purdue University and author of the textbook, Living With Insects writes this about the show, “Behrens has an interest in camouflage and how people perceive broken images. The works can be appreciated both for overall effect, for the multitude of details embedded in the work and the prominent use of insects.”

“The process began in 2012 with David sending me scanned images of insects from his personal collection. One image at a time, we challenged each other to respond to each image, building a digital montage, using Adobe Photoshop,” said Behrens. “We would then pass the image back and forth, responding to each other’s move.”

The image was built with about five or six back and forth turns, until the two mutually decided that the work was finished. Here’s a link to a fuller description of the collaborative process in a piece published in Behrens’s blog, The Poetry of Sight.

This is one of the first times that the collection will be shown all together. Various images from the collection have been exhibited in group shows at the Washington Pavilion Visual Art Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Northwestern College DeWitt Theatre Arts Center in Orange City, Iowa; Nemeth Art Center in Park Rapids, Minnesota; University of Northern Iowa Gallery of Art in Cedar Falls, Iowa; and the 27th McNeese National Works on Paper Exhibition at McNeese State University Grand Gallery in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Several pieces have been included in Dordt College’s annual arts issue of Pro Rege.

Gallery East Wall

Gallery West Wall

Exhibition graphics

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