Thursday, January 27, 2011

Jacquard weaving, computers, and... lace?

Chuck Close inspects experimental proofs of a new tapestry portrait at the mill in Belgium, December, 2010. Close's tapestries are woven on a computerised Jacquard loom using techniques developed at Magnolia Editions. Photo by Donald Farnsworth.

This online review of James Essinger's book Jacquard's Web, which considers the descent of modern computing from the punchcard-driven Jacquard loom, offers several interesting points about the connection between clothing/textiles and technological advancement.

The reviewer also suggests a link between bobbin-lace and the development of Jacquard's punchcards:

I also wonder where Jacquard got the idea for punched cards. [...] I have a theory, actually; bobbin-lace patterns. Bobbin-lace was as expensive and slow to make as brocade, and the patterns changed with fashion much faster than one person could make up a suit of lace. Complicated patterns require pinholes punched into stiff card, which give a skilled lacemaker enough direction to make up the pattern. Middlemen made up many many cards corresponding to small pieces of a fashionable pattern and handed them out to lacemakers as they picked up the finished pieces from the last pattern. It would have been important that the patterns lined up well to be invisibly sewn together, although the threads did not weave from one piece into the next.

I think there must have been a lot of these cards around, especially in a town as devoted to luxury clothing as Lyons was. It's still a big intellectual jump to switch from a human feeling with a pin to know where thread-crossing should go, to a machine that always crosses in the same places feeling a card to decide whether a crossing should happen; but it would explain why sheaves of punched cards 'looked like' information storage.
Read the whole review here; for more on Essinger's book, check out his website.

See more Jacquard tapestries by contemporary artists at Magnolia Editions

UPDATE: Donald Farnsworth points out that Jacquard's punchcard inspirations are actually well documented, as in this video from the "Connections" series by James Burke (begins at the 6:00 mark in the first video):

Monday, January 24, 2011

Artists at Magnolia: Rupert Garcia and Elena Dorfman

Donald Farnsworth and Rupert Garcia with Garcia's Obama From Douglass (2010)

Artists Rupert Garcia and Elena Dorfman worked at Magnolia Editions today...

Dorfman worked on an upcoming edition of photographic prints mounted on aluminum:

Elena Dorfman with new work

Tallulah Terryll and Elena Dorfman

Meanwhile, Garcia and Donald Farnsworth were interviewed for an upcoming Bay Package Productions documentary on Garcia, linked to the artist's show at the de Young Museum in San Francisco, "Rupert Garcia: the Magnolia Editions Projects 1991-2011," opening on February 19.

More art by Rupert Garcia from Magnolia Editions

Elena Dorfman - artist's website

Bay Package Productions

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Magnolia on YouTube

Just a reminder to check out Magnolia Editions' YouTube Channel for videos from the studio. If you have a YouTube account, please subscribe to our channel for automatic updates!

More art from Chuck Close at Magnolia Editions

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Oropallo at Melissa Morgan

Here's Deborah Oropallo with her tapestry George State II at Melissa Morgan Fine Art in Palm Desert, courtesy of Gordon Parr. has more photos and notes on the show by Jorie Parr.

More art by Deborah Oropallo at Magnolia Editions

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Deborah Oropallo at the studio

Deborah Oropallo worked on a new mixed media edition inspired by the story of Goldilocks and the three bears at Magnolia today, assisted by printer Tallulah Terryll.

Always a pioneer when it comes to bridging the gap between digital and analog, Oropallo used a digital composition as a reference for where to paint layers of white on a large print on canvas:

More art from Deborah Oropallo at Magnolia Editions

Friday, January 7, 2011

David Best at Oakland Museum today!

David Best will give a gallery talk at the Oakland Museum of California today at 6:30 pm.

From the OMCA website:
Join Chief Curator of Art Phil Linhares and see the new OMCA Gallery of California Art through the eyes of artist David Best. Best, a sculptor in ceramics and mixed media, is the creator of a series of extravagant “Art Cars” and a legendary builder of temples at Burning Man, where he constructs immense temples out of recycled wood sheets (discarded from making toys and other punch-outs) that are then burnt to the ground in a spectacle of light and heat. Hear Best’s observations about objects in the OMCA collection, and add your own in an informal—and sure to be controversial—conversation. OMCA is open until 9 p.m. every Friday. Included with Museum admission.

Oakland Museum of California website

Art by David Best at Magnolia Editions

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Magnolia Editions returns + Chagoya at Paule Anglim

Wooden astrolabe, c. 17th century
photographed at the Louvre Museum by Donald Farnsworth

We are back from our respective travels and vacations, with a host of new projects underway...

Visit the studio to check out Don Farnsworth's astrolabes; prints and sculptures by David Best; new work by Rupert Garcia for a retrospective at the de Young in February, and much more!

Enrique Chagoya - Surviving Paradise/A Noble Savage’s Guide, 2010
acrylic and water-based oil on Amate paper, 12” x 90” (page 1)
courtesy of Gallery Paule Anglim

Also, a show of new works on paper by Enrique Chagoya opens tomorrow, January 6th, from 5:30-7:30 pm at Gallery Paule Anglim in San Francisco. In addition to drawings and prints, the show will include One Recession Watchdog (Instant Update), an edition of electronic multiples published by Magnolia Editions.

Gallery Paule Anglim website