Wednesday, December 9, 2009

William Wiley in WSJ

William T. Wiley, Kali-fornia Dreamin, 2006/2007; Etching w/ watercolor on 40 buttons with leatherbound box, 11 x 17 x 1.2 in. Edition of 20

Sidney Lawrence reviews William T. Wiley's current exhibition at the Smithsonian Museum of American Art, "What's It All Mean: William T. Wiley In Retrospect," in the Dec. 9 Wall Street Journal (online edition). Lawrence is effusive about Wiley's wit, style, and significance:

...Mr. Wiley's work is unlike any other in recent art, a visual analog to the stream-of-consciousness strain in 20th-century literature. Likening Mr. Wiley to Virginia Woolf or James Joyce is dicey, of course, but his swirling cornucopias of images, words and associations are every bit as intoxicating, operating beyond their medium, in the subconscious. He is less a contemporary artist than a national treasure.

"What's It All Mean" travels next to the Berkeley Art Museum, where it will open in the spring of 2010; the show includes Kali-fornia Dreamin, Wiley's 2006/2007 edition of etching and watercolor buttons inside a handmade leatherbound box, published by Magnolia Editions.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Magnolia at Brand66 Design Blog

Brand66 is a blog from design guru Michael Rylander, whose company Rylander Design has an impressive roster of clients including Apple, BMW, PBS, and NeXT, to name only a few.

We were thrilled to discover that a fellow with such obvious visual acumen and taste is a fan of Magnolia Editions tapestries! Check out his recent post about Don Farnsworth and the Magnolia tapestry method.

Newsletter No. 19, Winter 2009

Featuring new editions from Hung Liu, Squeak Carnwath, Deborah Oropallo, Enrique Chagoya, Alan Magee, William T. Wiley, Richard Wagener, and more.

Available to read or download at our Newsletters page:

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Darwin's Origin of Species 150th anniversary

Donald Farnsworth - Origin: Specimens IV, pt. 2, 2007
Pigmented inkjet on rag paper, 30.75 x 26.5 in. Edition of 24

Today is the 150th anniversary of the publication of Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species. First issued on November 24, 1859, Origin laid much of the foundation for subsequent advances in the life sciences, especially evolutionary biology.

In these images from Donald Farnsworth's Origin: Specimens series, specimens selected from Farnsworth's collection and the California Academy of Sciences are depicted atop entire chapters of Darwin's treatise (click any image to see the full series):

Donald Farnsworth - Origin: Specimens VII, pt. 1, 2007
Pigmented inkjet on rag paper, 30.75 x 26.5 in. Edition of 24

Donald Farnsworth - Origin: Specimens II, 2007
Pigmented inkjet on rag paper, 30.75 x 26.5 in. Edition of 24

Monday, November 23, 2009

A visit to Magnolia Editions

Here's a handsome flickr set documenting a January visit to Magnolia Editions, courtesy of photographer Harlan Crowder.

Harlan also took the excellent photos from Hung Liu and Michael McClure's Deer Boy reading included in Era Farnsworth's The vortex touches down.

Click the samples below to see the full set:

Friday, November 20, 2009

Jeanne-Claude (1935–2009)

Photo by Bryan Obrien, Sydney Morning Herald

A favorite memory of Jeanne-Claude was seeing her and Christo being interviewed in a documentary about Ray Johnson. While recounting a lengthy anecdote about Johnson, neither of the two ever issued a single sentence by themselves. Instead, they continually and effortlessly finished each other's thoughts, as if speaking from one mind.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The vortex touches down

by Era Farnsworth

The night after Hung Liu and Michael McClure's presentation of their artist's book, Deer Boy, I woke in the middle of the night, thinking about how during the quite amazing reading by Michael McClure the moment began to feel historic, like touching the vortex and maybe hitching a little ride on its high energy.

Era Farnsworth, Michael McClure, and Hung Liu - photo by Harlan Crowder

I've been around long enough to recognize what that energy feels like, and maybe some of you reading this recognize it also. I was born in Berkeley and was, in fact, a flower child during the sixties. I attended Be-Ins in Golden Gate Park, the Fillmore, and the Avalon Ballroom in their hey day. I saw and listened to Jack Kennedy when he visited the UC Berkeley campus, and to Mario Savio. I went to most of the anti-Vietnam marches in San Francisco and the Bay Area and, more recently, almost all of the "Please, please, please let's not invade Iraq" marches in San Francisco and the greater Bay. Certainly some of the rarefied energy swept thru those massive gatherings at times.

I was in London when the Beatles were recording "Get Back" on the roof; I could plainly hear them, but couldn't quite figure out which building they were on. We threw a party in our London apartment and Pink Floyd came. Many of the great names in art from the Bay Area and elsewhere have passed through Magnolia's doors and many have worked here. Tibetan monks from the Drepung Loseling Monastery came to Don's and my opening in Santa Fe and performed their deeply resonant throat chanting. And most recently, we were blessed by the Dalai Lama and couldn't help noticing the wake he leaves wherever he passes.

When I look back on my life, I have found myself, over and over, in situations, mostly unplanned (I don't think you can plan exactly where the vortex will touch down), which have this feeling of riding the wave, of tasting the essence of the large, sweeping cultural changes, of touching the vortex.

(I was also in Berkeley and Oakland when the police cracked down on the anti-Vietnam protesters and the Free Speech Movement and people were shot; and I was in Paris in May of 1968, known even now to the French as Les Manifestations, when the entire city was shut down and gendarmes shot fiery grenades into buildings along the Left Bank. I've seen the darker, more violent side of the vortex; it imparts a similar feeling, but cruder, heavier, angry, even hateful.)

So I lay in bed thinking about the vortex as Ezra Pound described it in one of his cantos – except I couldn't think of Ezra Pound's name. I got up in the middle of the night and searched online for vortex and poetry. The first four or five entries concerned The Wichita Vortex Sutra by Allen Ginsberg, an antiwar poem of the Vietnam era, which references Michael McClure:

to Wichita where McClure's mind
burst into animal beauty
drunk, getting laid in a car
in a neon misted street
15 years ago--

There were several sites commenting on the poem, which not only mentioned McClure but also several other familiar names: Bruce Conner, who actually went to high school with Michael McClure in Kansas, and who worked with Don Farnsworth at Magnolia Editions twice a week for years; Terry Riley, who wrote the scores for Bruce's short films, among other things; and David Haselwood, who ran Auerhahn Press with Andrew Hoyem for years before becoming a Zen Buddhist monk.

With the coming together of the amazing Hung Liu – a highly accomplished artist, and a person in touch with and creating a vortex in her own right – and the legendary Michael McClure, and a whole room full of interested and energized people at the Rena Bransten Gallery (currently featuring an elegant show of work by the illustrious Ruth Asawa) – no wonder I felt the energy.

As Jeff Kelley said, McClure's delivery was reminiscent of performance art – at least for those of us who, going backwards in time, had seen performance art before they heard much reading of beat poetry. The pauses, the stresses, the cadences go far toward delivering the impact of the poem.

Michael McClure - photo by Harlan Crowder

The combination of Liu's art and McClure's poem in the Deer Boy book is amazing. I encourage you to take a look at it at the Rena Bransten Gallery in San Francisco, the Nancy Hoffman Gallery in New York, or at Magnolia Editions in Oakland, California.

If you are curious about some of the sites I found in that middle of the night search, please see below:

The Wichita Vortex Sutra

Daniel Abdal-Hayy Moore's Memorial and Memory Lane Meditation to Bruce Conner

Friday, November 13, 2009

Liu/McClure Book Preview - Pictures, Video

Era Farnsworth, Donald Farnsworth, Hung Liu, and Michael McClure

Thanks to everyone who came out to the preview of Hung Liu and Michael McClure's Deer Boy at Rena Bransten Gallery last night. As Era Farnsworth commented, it was a historic moment, as two local luminaries came together to celebrate a gorgeous and heartfelt collaboration.

McClure gave a powerful reading of his eponymous poem to a crowd that included local artists such as Don Ed Hardy, Andrea Way, and Carol Ladewig.

Prints and sculptures by Ruth Asawa hanging in the gallery provided a reminder of the rich history of the Bay Area's art scene; one felt that Asawa was there in spirit, giving the event her blessing.

Below, pictures and video clips from the preview by Nick Stone:

More pictures coming tomorrow!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Hung Liu & Michael McClure book preview Nov. 12

On Thursday, Nov. 12, 2009 from 6 to 8 pm, Rena Bransten Gallery will host a special book preview for Deer Boy, a new artist's book by Hung Liu & Michael McClure, published by Magnolia Editions.

The event will feature a reading at 7 pm by Michael McClure of his poem, "Deer Boy," composed especially for this publication.

Please don't miss the chance to encounter this handsome book, to meet the artists behind the project, and to hear a Bay Area literary icon read one of his most evocative works.

Rena Bransten Gallery is located at 77 Geary St in San Francisco (click for map).

For more information about the book, you can also check out Magnolia's press release.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Magnolia in art ltd. magazine

The Nov/Dec 2009 issue of art ltd magazine is a special issue devoted to printmaking on the West Coast. With feature articles on Raymond Pettibon, Gemini G.E.L., and artist's books in Northern California, this is absolutely a must-see issue.

Magnolia Editions is covered in the issue's survey of Western presses, which includes a photo of the studio by Donald Farnsworth. Many thanks to Mick Cripps, Molly Enholm, and George Melrod for making us look and sound so good!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Hung Liu reviewed in NY Times

Hung Liu - Richter Scale, 2009
oil on canvas, 80 x 160 in. (click to enlarge)

In The New York Times Arts section from October 22, Holland Cotter reviews Hung Liu's "Apsaras" show at Nancy Hoffman Gallery:
[Her] mural-size paintings at Nancy Hoffman [...] combine documentary immediacy with myth. In one picture a young woman sits, holding a child in the ruins of a building that may have been their home. A flock of pigeons, white and graceful against the wreckage, flies toward her.

In a painting titled “Rescue,” a line of people in hospital scrubs and military camouflage struggle to carry a figure on a stretcher up a rocky slope. A giant butterfly coasts along beside them, as if marking the way.

Other winged creatures hover in a close-up image of a girl’s bandage-swathed face. They are Buddhist angels called apsaras. Ms. Liu has lifted them from the walls of ancient cave temples and monasteries at the Silk Road city of Dunhuang near the Gobi Desert, where she spent time in the 1970s copying and conserving religious images.

Evocations of protection and mourning recur. The form of a dead deer floats angelically in space. Memorial candles flame against a dark ground. A bird descends. An old woman weeps. It’s easy to imagine such paintings turning sentimental. In Ms. Liu’s hands they never do. Everything — the images, the overlays, the forthright brushwork, the pictures as a group — is soberly judged, deeply felt, mature. It’s hard to ask for more.

Wild Wild West.Show closing at Wirtz Gallery

Tomorrow is the last day to see Deborah Oropallo's "Wild Wild West.Show" at Stephen Wirtz Gallery. Don't miss it!

Here are two video walk throughs of the show, courtesy of Donald Farnsworth and the Magnolia Editions YouTube Channel:

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

New and improved books from Magnolia Editions

Resident writer Nick Stone has updated and expanded two of Magnolia Editions' made-to-order books – The Magnolia Tapestry Project and Chuck Close: Tapestries. Please check out our Blurb bookstore for details, full book previews, and order information, or click below to go directly to each book:

The Magnolia Tapestry Project, 154 pp.
A comprehensive survey of the tapestry editions published by Magnolia to date, with full color images of over 100 woven editions and commentary by Nick Stone.

Chuck Close: Tapestries, 58 pp.
An exclusive look at Chuck Close's 15 (and counting!) tapestry editions, with notes by Nick Stone.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Tree Thangka I at Greens Restaurant

photo by Donald Farnsworth- click to enlarge

Visitors enjoying creative vegetarian cuisine at Greens restaurant at Fort Mason in San Francisco may be curious about the artwork on the north wall of the airy Greens dining room.

It's Donald and Era Farnsworth's Tree Thangka I tapestry, published by Magnolia Editions in 2008:

Donald and Era Farnsworth - Tree Thangka I, 2008
Jacquard tapestry, 96 x 75 in. Ed. of 6

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Rick Dula at Denver Art Museum

Rick Dula, master printer at Magnolia for nearly 20 years, is one of the artists included in "Embrace," an exhibition of 17 unique, site-specific installations opening Nov. 17, 2009 at the Denver Art Museum.

Dula is currently at work on a photorealistic, true-to-scale painting that appears to give visitors a view inside the walls to the steel girders and underpinnings beneath the finished interior:

photo: Alex Dominguez

Rick Dula prints from Magnolia Editions
Flickr: More photos of Rick working on his mural
Rick Dula's website

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Nancy Spero (1926-2009)

photo by Abe Frajndlich; source: Galerie Lelong

Nancy Spero, Codex Artaud VII - 2, 2003
Jacquard tapestry, 82 x 50 in.

Nancy Spero, Azur - 2, 2003
Jacquard tapestry, 82 x 17 in.

Nancy Spero, The Black and the Red III - 3, 2003
Jacquard tapestry, 47.5 x 82 in.

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Missing Peace at Frost Art Museum

Donald and Era Farnsworth's Dharmakaya tapestry, Lewis deSoto's giant inflatable sculpture Paranirvana, and works by William T. Wiley and Chuck Close are included in "The Missing Peace: Artists Consider the Dalai Lama," a traveling exhibition on view at Miami's Frost Art Museum until January 10, 2010.

The Farnsworths were in Miami to attend the opening and were thrilled with the installation of this ambitious show, featuring 88 works from artists representing 30 countries. Above and below, some photos from the opening and of deSoto being interviewed for the program ArtStreet on Miami public television.

And just for fun, here are Donald and Era relaxing Miami-style after the opening, courtesy of an anonymous Magnolia associate:

Friday, October 16, 2009

Hudson/Wiley/Shaw at San Jose State University

Sculptures by Robert Hudson and Richard Shaw are on view as part of "Collaborations: Robert Hudson and Richard Shaw with William Wiley" at San Jose State University's Natalie and James Thompson Art Gallery. "Collaborations" runs October 6 through November 6, 2009.

The show also includes a selection of mixed-media prints created with William Wiley at Magnolia Editions in 1997, such as Dead Ringer(below). Click the image to see more prints from Hudson, Shaw, and Wiley:

Robert Hudson, Richard Shaw, and William Wiley
Dead Ringer, 1997
Collagraph and mixed media, 30 x 22 in.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Enrique Chagoya at Cantor Arts Center

"From Their Studios" at Stanford University's Cantor Arts Center features work by 13 artists currently teaching at Stanford and includes work such as New Illegal Alien's Guide to Critical Theory by Enrique Chagoya. Published by Magnolia Editions, this 12 by 94 inch work is made up of pigmented ink and acrylic on multiple layers of plexiglas and amate paper.

Enrique Chagoya - New Illegal Alien's Guide to Critical Theory - Detail, 2008
Pigment and acrylic on plexiglas and amate, 12 x 94 in.

"From Their Studios" runs from September 16 through January 3, 2010, and each artist will give a Thursday night lecture about their work. Chagoya's lecture is scheduled for December 3, 2009 at 7 pm.

Cantor Arts Center website
Magnolia Editions: Enrique Chagoya - New Illegal Alien's Guide to Critical Theory

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Oropallo Book Signing Thursday Sept. 24

Catch Deborah Oropallo and Magnolia's own Nick Stone at this book signing:


THURSDAY, September 24, 6-8pm

Please join Gallery 16 to celebrate the release of three new editions by Deborah Oropallo as well as the release of Deborah's new book entitled POMP, published by Gallery 16 Editions. We will host a special release party and book signing with the artist on Thursday evening, September 24th from 6-8PM.

POMP is a survey of Oropallo's last two bodies of work. It includes the acclaimed Guise series of prints published by Gallery 16 Editions and premiered at the DeYoung Museum in 2007 as well as the most recent series, Wild Wild West. POMP contains 64 pages of beautiful color reproductions of Deborah's work along with an essay by Nick Stone and an interview with the artist. Nick Stone will also be in attendance for the book signing.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Chuck Close at Nevada Museum of Art

Five tapestry portraits by Chuck Close, published by Magnolia Editions, are included in "Faces: Chuck Close & Contemporary Portraiture," currently on view at the Nevada Museum of Art.

Donald Farnsworth took this picture of the tapestries hanging on an unusual wall at the NMA: the wall is diagonally slanted, making for an interesting dynamic between the work and the room:

Reviews of "Faces" can be found at Reno News & Review and the Reno Gazette Journal.

The exhibition, which is curated from the Doris and Donald Fisher collection, includes work by Gerhard Richter, Jim Dine, Cindy Sherman, and Andy Warhol as well as paintings and a hologram by Close. The exhibition runs through October 18; for more information, please visit

Chuck Close at Contessa Gallery

"Chuck Close: Recent Work" runs from September 11th through November 1st at the Contessa Gallery in Cleveland, Ohio.

The show features limited edition prints (including woodcuts, screenprints, colored, pressed, handmade paper pulp, linocuts, etchings and aquatints), photography (including unique Polaroid prints and daguerreotypes, archival pigment prints, and gridded working maquettes), and last but not least, large-scale Jacquard tapestries published by you-know-who.

Contessa Gallery
24667 Cedar Road
Cleveland, Ohio 44124

For more information, please check the Contessa Gallery website.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Summer intern Jamie Krasner

Magnolia Editions was pleased to welcome RISD student Jamie Krasner as an intern this summer. Thanks for all your hard work, Jamie!

Here's Jamie making buttons for William Wiley's upcoming retrospective at the Smithsonian Museum of Art in Washington, DC:

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

New Editions: Alan Magee, Richard Wagener

We have received an overwhelming influx of calls and emails about Alan Magee's stone tapestries in the last month, and several editions have sold out or are getting close. Luckily, Magee has just created Regarding Ardys, a brand new tapestry edition of 18:

Alan Magee, Regarding Ardys, 2009. Jacquard tapestry, 40 x 49.25 in., Ed: 18

We are also pleased to announce a series of print editions by California printmaker and book illustrator Richard Wagener. These large, striking prints of trees and rock formations are based on wood engravings and their scale brings out the subtle details of Wagener's meticulous line work:

Richard Wagener, Outlook II, 2009. Acrylic inkjet print, 48 x 27 in., Ed: 24

Friday, September 4, 2009

New Work from William Wiley

Check out some new work from William Wiley – unique prints on panel with mixed media assemblage, now available from Magnolia Editions.

Goat with Attire, 2009; acrylic print on panel w/ cardboard panel & striped string; 38.5 x 28 in.

Wiley has also created an edition of artist’s palettes which will be sold at his upcoming exhibition at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, “What’s It All Mean: William T. Wiley in Retrospective.” After running October to January in Washington, DC, the show will travel to the Berkeley Art Museum in March of 2010.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Austin Center for Photography blogs Chuck Close

An excellent overview of the Chuck Close show at the Austin Museum of Art, from the Austin Center of Photography:

Collectively, A Couple of Ways of Doing Something is a challenging exploration of photographic techniques and processes that transcends any one medium. With the counterpoint of Holman’s engaging poetry... the exhibition becomes a transfixing group portrait that explores the idea of the “art circle” and its importance to an artist’s work and life. read more...

Additional programming related to the show:

Film: Portrait of Close’s Creative Circle
Thursday, September 10, 7 pm

In her film Chuck Close, director Marion Cajori examines the appeal of the human face by interviewing the artist and his circle of creative friends, including Philip Glass, Robert Rauschenberg, and Kiki Smith. Film introduction by Austin photographer George Krause.

Poetry Reading by Dean Young
Thursday, October 1, 7 pm

Poet Dean Young reads his new and published work. Largely influenced by the New York School of poets, Young combines aspects of experimentation and surrealism. His Elegy on Toy Piano (2005) was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.

Slide Lecture: Realism of Low Resolution
Thursday, November 5, 7 pm

Art historian Richard Shiff will put the portraits of Chuck Close in context with the slide lecture Realism of Low Resolution: Chuck Close (and Others).

Public Tours
Every Saturday, 2 pm

Thursday, August 27, 2009

New editions from Squeak Carnwath

Three new mixed media editions from Squeak Carnwath are now available through Magnolia:

Good Ideas, 2009. Acrylic, oil, modeling paste on gessoed panel w/ oak skirt. 12 x 9 x 1.875 in. Edition of 10

History Goes Around, 2009. Acrylic, oil, modeling paste on gessoed panel w/ oak skirt. 13 x 13 x 1.875 in. Edition of 10

Pie, 2009. Acrylic, oil, modeling paste on gessoed panel w/ oak skirt. 13 x 13 x 1.875 in. Edition of 10