Printed and published by Landfall Press, Chicago, IL.
About H.C. Westermann (Courtesy of Wikipedia):
H.C. Westermann was an American printmaker and sculptor whose art constituted a scathing commentary on militarism and materialism. Westermann worked in logging camps as a rail worker in the Pacific Northwest. During World War II he served as a gunner in the U.S. Marine Corps on the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise, witnessing numerous kamikaze attacks and the sinking of several ships. He toured the Far East as an acrobat with the United Service Organization, and enrolled in The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1947. In 1950, Westermann re-enlisted in the Marines for service in the Korean War. After his discharge, he returned to The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and completed his studies in fine art. The psychological effects of his wartime experiences were an underlying theme in his work.
In 1967, he was one of the celebrities featured on the cover of the Beatles’ album, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
Westermann resisted providing interpretation of his works of art. In one interview, when asked what an object meant, Westermann replied “It puzzles me too.”
He was given a retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1978.
(Which, let’s be honest, is basically every day on the internet.)
Takahashi Hiroaki (Shotei), Published by Fusui Gabo,Cat Prowling Around a Staked Tomato Plant, 1931, Woodblock print, 20 7/8 x 13 7/8 in., The Museum of Fine Arts Houston Gift of Stephanie Hamilton in memory of Leslie A. Hamilton.
Happy Birthday to Emil Nolde, born on this day in 1867!
Unusual in Emil Nolde’s oeuvre, the female nude served as the focus of ten prints executed between 1907 and 1908. Before this, Nolde’s print production consisted of boldly carved woodcuts, a medium he embraced for its references to the origins of printmaking and for its seeming naïveté. For similar reasons, he chose iron rather than copper plates for his etchings: the earliest etchings were made by German artists using iron plates. The quality of the metal lent a coarseness to the line that may have been problematic for Renaissance artists, but this kind of primitivism was exactly what Expressionist artists sought. That this impression is so rare—there were only about 18—signals the experimental nature of the artist’s efforts.
Unusually large, Nolde’s Liegendes Weib emerges from the gray tone of the ground to confront the viewer. Unlike the conventional nude, she does not offer herself in a pose of abandon, but leans forward on her folded arms and makes eye contact with the onlooker. Exploiting the crudeness of the line produced in an iron ground, the figure’s contours are sharp, irregular, broken, and discontinuous, seeming to violate the murky tone from which they have materialized.
Emil Nolde, Liegendes Weib [Reclining Nude], 1908,Etching and aquatint on iron, Jack S. Blanton Curatorial Endowment Fund, 2002.
This screenprint by Rauschenberg seems very much in line with the Josh Smith’s artistic bent. The print has a focus on typography and forms what has become a chaotic bundle of news clips, into a cohesive work. We can see some of this harnessed chaos and focus on typography in Smith’s own work. For example, in the Smith’s 2008 piece below, there is a similar melding of text and form that constitutes the piece. The orderly, repeated background is interrupted by swaths of color and words that create a chaos that seems to erupt out of the image.
While an artist’s tastes and practice can be completely different, many pieces like this one and Smith’s Rauschenberg print in Artist’s Artists when viewed together, show us that sometimes the two can be very much aligned.