Wednesday, August 29, 2012

“Spirit Lake Iowa Fish I” wood engraving selected for the national “Printed Image IV” biennial exhibition

David Versluis, Spirit Lake Iowa Fish I, Wood engraving, 3 inches x 5 inches, 2009-10
Printed on a Vandercook Proof Press. Image © David Versluis, 2012

We’re please to announce that a wood engraving by David Versluis was selected for recognition in the national juried exhibition, Printed Image IV. The small engraving took Versluis about 25 hours to complete. The exhibition will be hosted at the Alice C. Sabatini Gallery at the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library, Topeka, Kansas, from November 16–December 28, 2012. In previous years this exhibition has been held at other venues such as Washburn University, Topeka.

This original print which is a piece from the Spirit Lake, Iowa Fish Series, responds allusively and metaphorically to the primordial fish as a unique creature symbolizing creational care. In addition, this image becomes a simile of Gyotaku, the Japanese art of fish-printing.

The Printed Image is a national, juried printmaking competition, which features new and experimental work from artists around the country and supports artists working in hand-pulled print media. The exhibition is an opportunity to view the latest trends in printmaking.

This year’s juror is Yuji Hiratsuka who currently is on the art/printmaking faculty at Oregon State University. Hiratsuka received his B.S. in Art Education from Tokyo Gakugei University, his M.A. in Printmaking from New Mexico State University, and his M.F.A. in Printmaking from Indiana University.

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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Steve Prince’s “One Fish: Old Testament” art exhibit on display at Dordt College

Psalm I: Slow Dance, Linoleum cut, 18 inches x 24 inches, from the Old Testament Series
Image courtesy of Eyekons Gallery © Steve A. Prince

Information from Dordt's news release:

For Steve Prince, art is a tool used to battle social issues like violence, racism, and injustice. His art is “a conduit of God’s grace, helping people make sense of their lives and realize that their actions have consequences,” said Prince. “There are a lot of things we haven’t dealt with in our souls, so I like to deal with them in my artwork.” The result is art that is interwoven with social metaphors and symbolic messages.

Prince has brought “One Fish: Old Testament” to Dordt College. The exhibit is housed in the college’s Campus Center Art Gallery and in the Ribbens Academic Complex art galleries through October 2, and features recent artwork including drawings and linocuts. The public is invited to enjoy the exhibit free of charge daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Indicative of Prince’s work, the exhibit is filled with images that show his incredible imagination and drawing abilities. “Old Testament” is a “love series” that is metaphorically inspired by the Bible, says Dordt College art professor and gallery coordinator David Versluis. In much of his work, Prince visually interprets the biblical narrative and gives it a fresh context in a contemporary and urban framework.

Founder of One Fish Studio based in Silver Spring, Maryland, Prince is an artist, educator, and art evangelist. Having grown up in New Orleans, Prince allows the city’s rich traditions in art, music, and religion to pulsate through his work. He says, “The concept of One Fish Studio is derived from Matthew 4:19, when Christ said, ‘follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.’”

Prince’s faith calls him to be an artist; his work is an unending exploration of that faith and its relationship to his life, his culture, and his community. “We are all living epistles, whether we want to be or not,” said Prince. He will expound on some of these themes when he comes to campus on Sunday and Monday, September 2 and 3.

An exhibit reception will be held on Sunday from 7 to 8:30 p.m. with an artist talk at 8. He will also speak Monday at 11 a.m. in the B.J. Haan Auditorium as the first in a series of First Mondays Speakers.

The public is also welcome to participate in a Watercolor Callagraphy Workshop on Monday from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.

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Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Foshay Tower nameplate in Minneapolis

This is the bronze nameplate from the Foshay Tower in Minneapolis, Minnesota which is on display in the building’s museum and observation deck (on the 30th floor). The architectural style and details of the building’s exterior and interior feature primarily elements of Art Deco and Moderne elements. The lettering of the nameplate, meanwhile suggests the curvilinear elasticity and type style of Victorian typographic and lithographic printing merging with Art Nouveau—characteristics of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It’s interesting that the nameplate typography signals qualities of the future while alluding to typographic forms of the past.

The Foshay Tower was completed in 1929 by Wilber B. Foshay and was for many years the tallest skyscraper in Minneapolis. The building was designed by the Magney & Tusler, architects as a classical obelisk and homage to the Washington Monument in Washington D.C.

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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Marcel Breuer’s Saint Francis de Sales Church, Muskegon, Michigan

Elevation views and a couple of interior views of Saint Francis de Sales Church, Muskegon, Michigan, which was designed by Marcel Breuer and Associates and dedicated in 1966 (cornerstone states 1966). The building is positioned on an east/west axis and faces east in the traditional manner. Photographs by David Versluis © 2012

In the reference book, Design in the 20th Century, Charlotte & Peter Fiell explain, “He [Breuer] founded Marcel Breuer and Associates in New York in 1956, and around that time, like Le Corbusier, made concrete his material of choice. He used this medium in a highly sculptural and innovative way for his design of the monumental Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (1966).” [1]

Like the Whitney, the church in Muskegon is constructed with site-cast concrete in molds. In spite of a later addition the original impact of the church building is still very evident. One of the most striking features of this building is it’s mathematical, hyperbolic paraboloid form, which builds a structure constructed of entirely straight lines but the visual effect creates a curve. In other words, the back is opposite the front and the sides result in a curved surface. Other compelling features include the cantilevered belfry and the massive sculptured-relief cross beneath it.

As a side note: Another example of Christian church architecture, by Breuer, is the St John’s Abbey Church located in Collegeville, Minnesota.

  1. Fiell, Charlotte, and Peter Fiell. “Marcel Breuer.” Design of the 20th Century. Ed. Susanne Husemann. 1999. 134-35. Print.

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Sunday, August 5, 2012

Gilbert Lesser: a shout-out 1959 style

“P.T. Barnum-sized modern type designed by Gilbert Lesser (1935-1990).”[1]
A 1959 ad for Fortune Magazine.

This early work from 1959 by graphic designer Gilbert Lesser indicates the strong influence of mid-twentieth century Swiss Object Posters. The so-called “Object Posters” are usually characterized by a single over-sized object symbolic image combined with typography. Incitement by image was normally the objective.

Like the Swiss Modernists, Lesser uses a typographic grid implied by the truck trailer and bold sans serif fonts to make a statement. Added to this, the word “Survey” is divided according to its syllables for visual and aural emphasis yet helps maintain an orderly and unified structure. The combination of black and white photography with bold and stacked typographic elements signals a post-war marketplace entering the era of mass media.

  1. Ettenberg, Eugene M. “Graphic Arts: U.S.A.” American Artist June 1962: 111. Print.

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