Wednesday, April 28, 2010

More Popular Mechanics

Here's another cute cover that reminds me of summer on the lake. The girl on top looks like she might jump ship. I love the subtitle "Written So You Can Understand It" which the editors saw fit to eliminate in the 1960's.

Jiri Kolar: The Poetics of Silence

I'm glad that I caught Elaine Sexton's review (Art in America, April 2010, p.128.) of Jiri Kolar's past collage show, The Poetics of Silence, that was at Pavel Zoubok this past December. My favorites are Birds (Vermeer), 1970 and Birds (Untitled) No. 5, 1972. I especially admire the composition of the Vermeer, with the placement of the woman's upper torso above the eagle feet. This clever juxtaposition of disparate images is what collage does best and Kolar was a master.

And while I was on Zoubok's site I explored the paintings of Barbara Sandler. Her marvelous series of portraits are full of dots along with numbers, stars, and other symbolic elements. Her use of line is also worth studying, as is her colors of rich grays and browns against orange and turquoise.

Feeling Nostalgic

I've been doing a little organizing today and came across some issues of Popular Mechanics from the late '50's and early '60's. This cover from December 1962 reminded me of the house at the top of my street. And then I remembered some really cool neighborhoods that my father used to drive us through at Christmas time, at night, and my sister and I would be in the back seat with our pajamas on under our coats because we had to go right to sleep as soon as we got home.

There was one house we used to pass on my mother's short-cut route home from Salem that was completely covered with little painted ornaments not only at Christmas but at Easter, Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, Thanksgiving, and Halloween, too. As time went by they toned it down to simply shutters that reflected the seasons.

But Bomac had far and away the best Christmas light display of all! Of course they had an advantage over your basic homeowner. Bomac (purchased in 1959 by Stanford University research park-based Varian) was a Route 128-based maker of tubes and components in Beverly, Mass. (I learned this detail from a fascinating Route 128 Timeline.)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Fatal Attraction to Fornasetti Face Dots

I absolutely love the work of Piero Fornasetti. I can't remember what led me to discover him but I'm sure it happened less than two weeks ago. I almost dropped dead when I first saw the catalog of his plate designs on Minima Design. I made the Safe Method Dots that same day so that would make it April 17th.

The man was a genius. How is it I never came across his work earlier? To appreciate the full Fornasetti effect, I recommend Patrick Mauries' Fornasetti: Designer of Dreams (Thames & Hudson, 1991; reprinted 2010). There's also another tempting title forthcoming. Fornasetti: The Complete Universe (688 pages!) published by Rizzoli.

And another cool discovery is Franco Maria Ricci's lovely FMR Magazine. The November/December 1987 issue (No.29) has a nicely illustrated article on Fornasetti: "Those obscure objects of design." FMR is still being published along with some amazing monographs on artists including Guiseppe Arcimboldo, Domenico Gnoli, Alberto Savinio, and Vanni Viviani.

Tony Fitzpatrick in Rockland, Maine

I was excited to see the Art News (May 2010, p. 53) advertisement for Tony Fitzpatrick's show at Dowling Walsh Gallery in Rockland, Maine. He's one of my favorite collage artists. (See previous posts here.)

Tony's work will be displayed in a solo exhibition from Thursday, May 27th through Saturday, June 26th, with an opportunity to meet and speak with the artist on Thursday, May 27th, from 5-7 p.m. and a reception on Friday, May 28th, from 5-7 p.m. in the gallery.

I absolutely adore "Drawing for Crazy Horse #2 (Thunder Being)" and "Hell's Songbird (For Doc Holliday)" and I can't wait to see them (and the artist) in person! Check out Tony's blog, No. 9 - An Artist's Journey.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Safe Method Dots

I love the old illustrations in this guide to business published in 1897. If I played around long enough I could get the dots to tell a little story!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Tennyson & The May Queen

Address Dot

I've had this old circa 1899 copy of Addresses by the Right Reverend Phillips Brooks, Bishop of Massachusetts for about 30 years. I've always loved the cover and it makes a wonderful dot!

Digital Dot Dots

Here's an old project that got recycled. This was the original painting that sparked the abstraction poster for the Art Group. My second version became Risking Absurdity (Digression No. 1).

I decided to salvage an area of the painting (Miss Pearl threw up a hairball on one corner!) when I noticed a randomly placed mat had cropped an interesting portion.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Human Physiology

I love old medical text illustrations. Here are some beautiful ones from John Thornton's Human Physiology published in 1909.

The book was previously owned by Gertrude A. Barron, and one of her nursing school report cards was tucked inside.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Saturday Book

Getting ready for the retail season early this year so expect some action soon at Anita's Bead Blog. But I had to take a little time off to share two lovely book jackets with you. Saturday Book 15, with its amazing trompe d'oeil by Richard Chopping was a dump find and my first introduction to Chopping's work. He is best known for his Ian Fleming novel covers which I became aware of through the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB) site featuring the Chopping cover for From Russia With Love in their masthead.

The rear flyleaf of Saturday Book 15 describes "a pictorial anthology culled from the first thirteen numbers" which has a nicely illustrated jacket by Philip Gough.

(Found this interesting site of Alice in Wonderland Illustrators searching for information on Gough. And some illustrations he did for Jane Austen's Emma.) I should also mention that both Saturday books are interesting to read as well.