On next Saturday, April 5th, I'll be teaching a workshop at Daniel Smith Artist Materials on printmaking with oil-based inks and watercolor.
This is a recent print that I created, using the techniques I will be teaching next Saturday. You can call the store at (206) 223-9599 to register for the workshop. Times are 11 to 4:30 and cost is $85. Last week while I was in New York I saw a very moving exhibit at the Neue Galerie entitled Degenerate Art. In 1937 Hitler had an exhibit of sanctioned art in Munich, and then across the street another exhibit of work deemed "degenerate", called Entartete Kunst, which featured artists whose work was inspired by the primitive, like much of the vanguard art of the 20th century. Well-known artists included Max Beckmann, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Oskar Kokoschka and Felix Nussbaum. Some of the earliest work inspired by African and Oceanic art was done by Die Brucke, a group from Dresden founded by Kirchner and another lesser known artist, Karl Schmidt-Rotluff, and woodblock prints were a very important part of their exploration of the power of the primitive. I've always admired the prints from that era. Each room of the Degenerate Art exhibit is disturbing in its impact as it juxtaposes state-approved "classical" art (very academic and hackneyed) and the much more powerful "primitive" art of the German Expressionists-- in each room text, photos and short period movies show how this culture of hatred set the stage for mass annihilation-- one room in particular has stuck in my mind: the Dresden room. On one side is a wall-sized enormous black and white aerial photo of Dresden before World War I, serving as a kind of wallpaper, with a beautiful oil portrait of the founders of Die Brucke by Kirchner. On the opposite wall is another enormous photo of the ruins of Dresden after the bombing of 1945. On that wall hang several woodblock prints by Schmidt-Rotluff depicting the life of Christ. Once again, the juxtaposition of imagery is deeply upsetting. It's an exhibit that I wish everyone could see. To know history is crucial.