Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Me and Louise

During the summer I took a printmaking course at the Linekona Art Center downtown. I have for some time been an admirer of the sculptures of Louise Nevelson, many of which were essentially assemblages made up of small wooden pieces in complex architectural configurations. "Sky Cathedral" is a good example:

There's something magisterial about this piece, and many of her others, a forcefulness, a kind of authority, all of this random stuff being gathered together and composed, asserted as a unified whole. It's beautiful and impressive and even a little scary.

As I've looked around on the internet and elsewhere, I've run across a lot of other things I like, like for example this configuration of sculpted steel squares:

Anyway, during the printmaking course we were encouraged to try, among other things, using cardboard to print from, I thought I'd try make a print that borrowed on her architectural style. So I made a cut out a series of cardboard pieces and glued various shapes on top of one another and laid them out and did a couple of prints like this one:

So that was okay, but the paper-and-ink medium didn't really offer the tactile, monumental quality that I was looking for. So the other day, I took out the bag of cardboard cutouts I had made and glued them down onto a piece of plywood and then used acrylic paint and medium to make it look like it was in fact made out of weathered wood. The (12"x24") panel came out looking a lot more like what I was after, especially after I painted over it with a gloss medium that put a soft sheen over the textured surface.

So there it is, my little homage to Louise.

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