Saturday, December 24, 2016

Corita Kent exhibit on display at Dordt College

Corita Kent
Love, 1979
Screen Print, 20 x 20 inches
“…the ability to feel is very beautiful.” —Corita Kent

Dordt College will display a selection of original screen prints by Corita Kent from the collection of the Corita Art Center, Los Angeles. The exhibition of 26 prints will be on display from January 6 to February 12.

The exhibition has been curated by Dordt College Professor of Art David Versluis. “I attempted to select work that represents the range of Corita Kent’s typographic style and expressiveness,” says Versluis. “As a graphic design instructor for many years I’ve thought about the qualities of Corita Kent and her activist screen prints of the ’60s and ’70s. This exhibition suggests that her message and image prints are as important and relevant for us today as they were nearly 50 years ago.”

Corita Kent (Sister Mary Corita) (1918–1986), born in Fort Dodge, Iowa, was an artist, educator, and advocate for social justice. At age 18 she entered the religious order Immaculate Heart of Mary, eventually teaching in and then heading up the art department at Immaculate Heart College in Los Angeles. Her work evolved from figurative and religious to incorporating advertising images and slogans, popular song lyrics, biblical verses, and literature. Throughout the ’60s, her work became increasingly political, urging viewers to consider poverty, racism, and injustice.

In 1968 she left the order and moved to Boston. Her work evolved into a sparser, introspective style, influenced by living in a new environment, a secular life, and her battles with cancer. She remained active in social causes until her death in 1986. At the time of her death, she had created almost 800 screen print editions, thousands of watercolors, and innumerable public and private commissions.

Roy R. Behrens sent me this review of the Corita Kent catalog from the College Art Association.

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Thursday, December 22, 2016

Marguerite Wildenhain: her Bauhaus influence on U.S. ceramics

Marguerite Wildenhain (American, born in France, 1896-1985)
Bowl (Incised Design), 20th century, n.d.
Collection of Tweed Museum of Art, University of Minnesota Duluth
photographs by versluis, 2015

The following is from the of the Tweed Museum of Art label:

Wildenhain was educated at the Bauhaus in Weimar, studying with Kandinsky, Moholy-Nagy, and Feininger, among others, and worked in the industry of ceramic design. After moving to the United States, she rejected mass production and advocated a return to hand-made craftsmanship. Through her writing, teaching, and artwork, she was a major force in bringing the Bauhaus aesthetic to the American ceramic scene.

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Saturday, December 17, 2016

Perhaps this is a Leonard Baskin image?

Over 30 years ago I received a framed original print in exchange for curatorial services. The print had been in the collection of a person at Smith College in Northampton Mass. This label was on the dust cover which suggests a very interesting history. Perhaps this is a Leonard Baskin image? If it’s not then another artist was influenced by Baskin. Baskin taught sculpture and printmaking at Smith College from 1953 until 1974.

label size: 2 x 2.25 inches.

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Saturday, December 10, 2016

Backgrounded—Identity Sightings by Rick Valicenti

Installation views: Backgrounded: Identity Sightings by Rick Valicenti, Artist-in-Residence, Loyola University, Chicago, 2016-17 (iPhone photographs, Translucent window vinyl).
Out of focus yet pres­ent — [persons] behind those captioned in the NY Times, 2013–16. From the exhibition: (maybe) THIS TIME at Loyola University Ralph Arnold Gallery. (the exhibition has ended. photographs courtesy of Thirst/3st)

From the exhibition prospectus: “Not everyone is the focus of media attention. This portraiture looked on those positioned behind captioned subjects featured in the NY Times.”

Having seen this show in October I’ve pondered this piece:

The correlation of recognition and memory—
For his solo exhibition at Loyola, Valicenti works within the neutral wall color of the gallery space while brilliantly utilizing the picture window of the gallery to reach out to those on the street and audiences beyond the gallery. Galleries tend to disengage artifacts from the outside world, but Valicenti as both artist and curator does not circumvent the gallery. Instead he projects its contents to the public, which is quite amazing.

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