“Felix Harlan and Carol Weaver met as young printers at a print workshop in downtown Manhattan. When it closed, the couple founded their own printshop with a rented press, inherited equipment, and a desire to push traditional techniques to meet the needs of contemporary artists. Now celebrating its twentieth anniversary, Harlan & Weaver is a well-respected specialty workshop where some of the best-known young and established contemporary artists makes prints, using a variety of intaglio techniques.
In Decembers 2005 Art on Paper, there is an interview Merrily Kerr had with printmakers Felix Harlan and Carol Weaver. Harlan and Weaver met each other in 1980 at Aeropress under Patricia Branstad who was Kathan Brown’s assistant at Crown Point Press. Harlan and Weaver later decided that they wanted to open their own small printshop in the lower east side of New York. At first they rented a press and printed with Jeryl Parker who had unconventional approaches to printmaking. Along with Parkers friends, they also became friends with several artists in the east village who introduced them to other artists. Soon they started getting jobs of their own despite the downturn in the market. Today is a very productive time in printmaking in New York, especially for etching. There has been a shift in taste on the part of people who are buying prints and in curatorial interests in small-specialized printshops. It was believed that printshops should be large and offer every technique possible. Harlan feels a kinship with other printers in New York and around the country because of this shift.
When Harlan and Weaver were young they felt a need to learn all printmaking techniques, but they became focused on more traditional intaglio techniques. They seldom use photo-processes or handwork after printing. The emphasis is more on what one can do to the plate. They enjoy working with artists who haven’t been published as well as more experienced artists such as Kiki Smith, Richard Artschwager, and Louis Bourgeois. Right now they so contract work but hope in the future to publish more.
- My abstract from Art on Paper Nov/Dec 2005
I thought this interview was so interesting. I was inspired to read that small-specialized printshops are becoming popular in New York since this is my plan for the future. It’s also exciting that etchings are becoming more desired by buyers. Hopefully, what is going on in New York will impact the rest of the country. This article also makes me think about what Harlem and Weaver said about wanting to learn all the techniques while they were young. I could relate to it because I feel like I wanted to learn every medium and technique while I was at CCA. Now, I’m rethinking this unrealistic goal and feel like it is important to master in a certain medium, and also have some experience and respect for other techniques.
Thursday, January 26, 2006
Another artist I admire is Henry Darger. A lot has been written about him lately because he has been an underated artist. Now he is starting to become more recognized in the art world. I love the way he has created an imagined world full of very serious content.
Henry Darger (April 12?, 1892–April 13, 1973) was a reclusive American writer and illustrator who worked as a janitor in the Chicago, Illinois area. His major claim to fame is a 15,000-page fantasy manuscript called The Story of the Vivian Girls, in What is known as the Realms of the Unreal, of the Glandeco-Angelinnian War Storm, Caused by the Child Slave Rebellion, along with several thousand watercolor paintings and other drawings illustrating the story. Darger's work has become one of the most notable examples of outsider art.
For more information click here: Henry Darger
So, maybe I'm a bit slow, but I have just found out about wikipedia. It's a complete encyclopedia of any information you could ever imagine and it's controlled by you and anybody. I guess I did hear of it a few months ago after the hurricane Katrina disaster, but I wasn't sure what it was. It's such a great resource.
Sunday, January 22, 2006
I was walking down Denny Street in Tralee when I saw a sign that said Wellspring Gallery Contemporary Irish Art. I thought, well, I might as well check it out. I had to go down the steps into the basement of a three story house. I rang the bell, and after a while a woman with wild blond hair opened the door. She welcomed me and quickly ran off to the back yelling "I'll have tu find yu a brochure of the exhibit". I heard all this shuffling and crashing, "I'll have to print yu a new one: seems's though i've run out."
"That's fine" I yelled.
"Give us a shout if yu got any questions."
As expected, irish landscape paintings were on show. I was impressed with the gallery; it was professional enough and had great lighting." I walked through and there was a chair with some prints on it. I thought oh, I'll look through these. On closer inspection I noticed that they were actually fine art prints. My eyes light up and I quickly ran over to the woman.
"Hello, I noticed you have some prints."
She pulled herself out from under a table and gave me a suspicious look, "what kind of prints?"
"Etchings and monoprints." I was thinking are you mad don't you know what's in your own gallery?
Her eyes then light up "yes!!! She quickly pulled me over to her collection, and proceeded to tell me about how she was a printmaker and these prints were a collection from the graphic studio in Dublin, and the Cork Printshop. I continued to tell her that this is my first contact with prints in Tralee (my home town), and the frustrations I've been having trying to explain to my family what I was doing. After I said that, it was smooth sailing. We had made a connection, and her speech became rapid almost manic. I'd never smiled so much I was absolutley amused by this woman. She continued showing me her favorite prints and asked me "arn't these just luscious; don't you just want to eat them, they're so seductive." I thought I would be witnessing that famous seen from When Harry Met Sally with the way she was talking. I thought to myself 'what happened to my passion...I new exactly how she felt, but I had not felt that way in years.' Suddenly, I felt excited, I felt as if I had a mission. Tralee is the perfect town to have a printshop. During my whole stay in Ireland, I bonded very deeply with my family. All of a sudden my role in my family is not of a child, but now I have become a diplomat between the strange relationships the members of my family have with each other. Since my parents immigrated back to Ireland, I've felt like an outsider and America has suddenly become an empty place. I feel like in order to make my life work the way that will make me happy, I'll have to split my time between living here and living there. I need to make America a home, but I know that my real home is always there for me with my family. It's sad to say goodbye to my grandparents not knowing if I'll ever see them again, or to see my sisters growing up so fast. It's really weird the way time plays with ones mind especially when you are an immigrant. So, my plans have changed a little. I feel like if I open just a little printshop like the one Nick has in Barga, and spend the summers there teaching workshops while renting it out during the year to artists. I still have a lot to think about, and probably won't look into again until after I get my MFA, but knowing that that dream is there makes me happy.
A old man with a hump came out of this house, hopped onto his tractor and drove away.
The whole family together for Christmas. The first one in twelve years.
I'm a bit biased, but the Tralee Bay is just the most beautiful place.