Friday, August 18, 2017

Shapes and Marks

Seldom do I focus on shape.  I tend to build compositions around line and mark, but I do keep returning to a loose vessel shape.  Right now I'm working on a black and white series focused on vessels. Here is a vessel piece from a while ago, still untitled.

Untitled, 11x14", acrylic on paper
 And some close ups.  It was fun to still use plenty of marks, but to make them more subtle so they didn't dominate over shape.

Recently I went to Ritsuko Ozeki's artist talk at Froelick Gallery in Portland.  She is a printmaker who uses lots of line and mark but also incorporates shape.  She is from Tokyo and has been doing series based on the aftermath of the tsunami.  She talked about being interested in all the change that has occurred, and that now, along with the destruction, there is starting to be some rebuilding of communities.  The house shapes she uses point to both the chaos and the restructuring taking place.  She prints using 4 different plates and assembles the prints in various orientations into large pieces.  The overall affect is disorienting, with the occasional house surfacing here and there.  I found them powerful and haunting.

This is one of the blocks that she then combines with others.

I forgot how much I enjoy an artist talk.  It's so illuminating to find out the inspiration behind the pieces.  I was really happy to learn that Froelick posts videos of the talks on You Tube, so now I can catch up on some I've missed.  The filming isn't great, and sometimes I'm dying for a shot of the painting while the artist is talking about it, but they are still interesting to watch.

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