Prints: Untitled

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This one came from a quick pencil sketch and a nixed first draft for another job. Blown up, singled out and further finessed, the art fixed up quite nicely in warm earth tones. There’s something simple and satisfying about the symmetry in this one. And it’s signed and dated on the back so you’re free to hang whichever way you choose.

Available now via the shop in an edition of five.

Prints: Severance Package

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Earlier this season, I found some leftover misprints from my Untitled (Corporate Identity) piece just sort of hanging out there in the workshop. I’d stare at them and they’d glare back. They were clearly waiting for something, but I wasn’t sure just what. After some hemming, hawing and dead ends I decided to circle back around and use one of the original screens from the first edition and just let it roll.

The artwork is so dynamic with its mix of hard edges and curves, that flipping the misprints around and overprinting them made for some compelling compositions and color studies. Even more, the stencil just prints so easily and cleanly that each print comes out like butter. It wasn’t by design, but the position of stencil on screen is absolutely perfect. Printing with it has been a pleasure, never a pain.

Now I don’t ever want to overstay my welcome, so when it came time to print I had to make myself a promise: I absolutely had to destroy the screen once all of the misprints were used. So while you might see some more pieces that incorporate this artwork, know that they all came from this last session.

Bon voyage, buddy boy. You done good.

Things We Like: “Number 14-1953”

We happened upon a painting cryptically titled Number 14–1953 on our latest visit to the Whitney Museum of American Art—our first to their new Renzo Piano-designed outpost in New York’s Meatpacking District. We were there for the Frank Stella retrospective and, of course, to see the classics from the permanent collection. And, As always, the curators hung the textbook classics and familiar favorites along with a few little-seen pieces by “overlooked” artists. In their Abstract Expressionist survey that meant personal favorites like Franz Kline’s Mahoning, Willem De Kooning’s Door to the River, and Lee Krasner’s monumental The Seasons. Masters all, of course, but the collection’s rarely displayed moments are often the most satisfying. In this case the prize was Alfonso Ossorio.

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We didn’t know much about the work of Mr. Ossorio, but here he was given ample wall space right next to Mr. Pollock. Good company and an interesting juxtaposition. Number 14–1953 is a nice counterpoint to the allover, widescreen approach of Pollock.

Pollock’s work looks like it done swiftly, all spontaneous action, the evidence of sweeping thrusts of the arm throwing pigment down across the surface and letting gravity take control. The arcs and implied speed of the gestures show that Pollock stood at some distance from the canvas. Conversely, the Ossorio is smaller and looks to be done up close with great attention to detail. It feels like a true labor of love, one painstakingly built over time. Sure, there is an allover composition and there are spontaneous, chance moments throughout, but it’s a process-heavy piece with layer upon layer of material, pigment and process. It looks like a science experiment or an excavation.

There’s so much going on that it’s difficult to orient yourself, eyes darting all over the surface checking out the details that just keep on coming. And it’s difficult to figure out what exactly it’s composed of. Is it a photograph that’s been manipulated in the darkroom by burning and dodging? Is it a collage with bits of newspaper strewn about, all peeled back and pasted over again? Has the canvas been torched like a Albeto Burri piece? Or56 maybe it’s ink that’s soaked in and spread throughout the canvas? It’s really hard to tell, but in a word it’s gorgeous. And in reality it’s ink and wax on board.

At a glance it looks like a black and white piece, but upon closer inspection hints of color peer through like smoldering embers just below the surface. Red, violets, and deep cobalt blues dominate the palette, seething beneath a lava flow of gestures.

We spent nearly twenty minutes looking at this thing. Great art reveals new things over time and in just this short window of time we were transfixed and consumed, absorbing every detail.

Photographs don’t do Number 14–1953 justice, but since you can’t take it home with you, photos will have to do.

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Prints: How’s it Goin’?

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A little behind the curve this season on the blog updates, but that’s not to say I haven’t been out in the workshop printing—far from it. With one true edition under my belt and a bunch of experimental one-offs logged, I’ve been hunkered down in sketch mode trying to narrow down exactly what it is I want to print. The file of ideas is vast. I wish I could do them all. Like right now. It’ll happen, it just takes time.

I will say that narrowing down my print runs to editions of five to ten has taken the pressure off. The stakes are lower and good things happen when you let it flow. The work is loosening up and getting a bit more interesting, taking twists and turns I hadn’t foreseen.

We’ll see how things develop. Please stay along for the ride and see for yourself.

Knits: Fingerless Gloves

 

I have some time while I wait for the yarn to start a sweater project, so I’ve been working on fingerless gloves for the fall festival we participate in every November. I bought a bunch of Ella Rae Lace Merino Worsted on sale in these interesting color combos, which are knitting up really beautifully!