Monday, December 9, 2013

Chuck Close at Housatonic Museum; Storer/Romanoff/Farnsworth at Yuma Fine Arts

Chuck Close with students and faculty from Roosevelt School participating in the President's Turnaround Arts Initiative at Housatonic Community College in Bridgeport, CT; photo by Christian Abraham.

Besides having been hand-picked to serve on President Barack Obama's Committee on the Arts and Humanities and in addition to his extensive fundraising and charity work, Chuck Close is also a force to be reckoned with in the field of arts education.

After volunteering to participate in the President's Turnaround Arts Initiative, which helps provide students in struggling schools with much-needed arts education and exposure, Close was asked to spend the past year mentoring students at the Roosevelt School in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

As one of eight high-profile creative talents who volunteered for the program, developed in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Education and the White House Domestic Policy Council, the artist worked closely with Roosevelt students, faculty and surrounding communities.

In early November an exhibition opened in the Burt Chernow Galleries at Bridgeport's Housatonic Community College, showcasing work by the students mentored by Close alongside five of Close's large-scale watercolor prints published by Magnolia Editions over the last two years.

Chuck Close at the Burt Chernow Galleries at Housatonic Community College in Bridgeport, CT; photo by Christian Abraham.

Chuck Close addresses students and faculty in the Burt Chernow Galleries at Housatonic Community College in Bridgeport, CT; photo by Christian Abraham.

Portrait of Chuck Close by a Roosevelt student at the Burt Chernow Galleries at Housatonic Community College in Bridgeport, CT; photo by Christian Abraham.

Chuck Close's print Kara I (2012) at the Burt Chernow Galleries at Housatonic Community College in Bridgeport, CT; photo by Christian Abraham.

Chuck Close's 2013 print Cindy (Smile) at the Burt Chernow Galleries at Housatonic Community College in Bridgeport, CT; photo by Christian Abraham.

For more great photos by Christian Abraham from this event, please see this article at the Connecticut Post.

Meanwhile, "Grand Narratives," Donald and Era Farnsworth's collaborative exhibition with Inez Storer and Andrew Romanoff at the Yuma Fine Arts Association, enjoyed a successful opening this month.

Before the opening: tapestries by Donald & Era Farnsworth, prints by the Farnsworths, Storer, & Romanoff, and mixed-media works by Storer & Romanoff at the Yuma Art Center.

The show features artwork inspired by the quartet's recent trip to St. Petersburg, Russia; visitors are encouraged to learn more at the Yuma Art Center website.

Mixed-media works by Inez Storer at the Yuma Art Center

Finally, East Bay residents might notice a familiar, colorful tree appearing in newspaper kiosks around town -- Donald and Era Farnsworth's collaborative tapestry Reflection III (2004) graces the cover of the Monthly, "the East Bay's premier magazine of culture and commerce," this December. Congratulations, Farnsworths!

Donald & Era Farnsworth's 2004 tapestry Reflection III on the cover of the December 2013 East Bay Monthly

Watercolor prints by Chuck Close from Magnolia Editions

More art by Donald & Era Farnsworth from Magnolia Editions

More art by Inez Storer from Magnolia Editions

Friday, November 29, 2013

Enrique Chagoya at Fundacion Artium de Alava

Tapestries by Enrique Chagoya at Fundacion Artium de Alava; photo ℅ Artium

The staff at Fundacion Artium de Alava in Alava, Spain generously sent us these photographs of Enrique Chagoya's current exhibition, "Enrique Chagoya: Palimpsesto canĂ­bal."

The show will remain on view through January 12, 2014 and includes prints and tapestries published by Magnolia Editions as well as drawings, mixed-media works, and codex books.

Artwork by Enrique Chagoya at Fundacion Artium de Alava; photo ℅ Artium

Artwork by Enrique Chagoya at Fundacion Artium de Alava; photo ℅ Artium

Artwork by Enrique Chagoya at Fundacion Artium de Alava; photo ℅ Artium

Artwork by Enrique Chagoya at Fundacion Artium de Alava; photo ℅ Artium

More work by Enrique Chagoya at Magnolia Editions

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

In memory of George Miyasaki

George Miyasaki at Magnolia in 2009

It is hard to believe and difficult to report, but our friend and teacher George Miyasaki passed away this week. He was 78 years old.

George was a role model to all who knew him – an extraordinarily humble and soft-spoken man whose grace, patience, and good humor were matched only by his incredible work ethic. Having studied painting and printmaking with Richard Diebenkorn, Leon Goldin, and Nathan Oliveira in the 1950s, George immediately began winning awards for a highly innovative body of printmaking work that continued right up until this year. His signature mix of collograph textures, expressionistic forms, and unpredictable colors made his work instantly recognizable. It would be a disservice to George to say that his work simply reflected his personality when he was so unquestionably gifted and worked so admirably at his craft – yet it is true that his prints balanced a gentle, lyrical elegance with a bold physicality in a way which mirrored the quiet strength that seemed to radiate from George himself.

A young George Miyasaki, second from right, with (from left) Harold Rosenberg, John Coplans, and Wilfrid Zogbaum

One can read all about George's storied career in the biography available from his galleries or the numerous major museums that collected his work; to list his various Guggenheim and NEA grants, to speak of his work at Atelier 17 in Paris or his decades of teaching at UC Berkeley, while extremely impressive, somehow still does not seem to do him justice. George was a lion. It is hard to put into words how generous he was with his brilliance, how dedicated he was to his work, and how fortunate we are to have learned so much from him. We love you, George.

John Mass, Era Farnsworth, George Miyasaki, and Brian Caraway at Magnolia in 2010

George Miyasaki - Composition 18, a lithograph from 1957

Miyasaki (far left) with family in the 1950s

Guy Diehl, Donald Farnsworth, George Miyasaki, Enrique Chagoya, and Dean Smith at Magnolia, 2010

Miyasaki (at right, ever the instructor) at a wedding in Hawaii, 2006

Miyasaki with family in front of a painting in progress, 2005

A 2005 drawing by Miyasaki commemorating his parents

Squeak Carnwath and George Miyasaki with collagraphs in progress at Magnolia, 2010

Miyasaki at Magnolia, 2008

Printer Rick Dula and George Miyasaki wiping a collograph plate at Magnolia, 1999

Dula and Miyasaki pull a print at Magnolia, 1999

George Miyasaki - Dog Days of Summer III (v.4), 2005
collagraph and mixed media, 31.5 x 25 in.

Miyasaki at Magnolia, 2008

Monday, October 28, 2013

The Farnsworths meet the President

The Farnsworths meet the President, February 2013. From left: Manolo Bustamante, Donald Farnsworth, Chuck Close, Sienna Shields, President Barack Obama, and Era Farnsworth.
This photo may not be manipulated, published, disseminated or broadcast without the written permission of the White House and may not be used in any commercial or political materials or promotions that suggest approval or endorsement of the President or the White House.

Readers of our blog may recall that in late 2012, Magnolia Editions published a series of print and tapestry portraits of President Barack Obama by Chuck Close. These works were then sold at a special fundraising auction, raising over two million dollars for the President's re-election campaign and Democratic Senate races.

A portion of the editions were signed by both Close and President Obama; in February of this year, Magnolia directors Donald and Era Farnsworth traveled to the White House with Close, assistant Manolo Bustamante, and artist Sienna Shields to assist the President in signing each 75 x 60 inch print. Era Farnsworth's full account of their meeting in the White House Map Room can be found in an earlier post.

Recently, the White House Photo Office was kind enough to send along a copy of the above photograph. There are many strict rules regarding photographs of the President in the White House, and while the Photo Office was kind enough to grant us permission to use it on our blog, we must ask that you please respect the restrictions stated in the caption.

That said, we are delighted and proud to share this image with you. Once again, we would like to thank you for your continued support of Magnolia Editions! It is an honor for us to be able to help Chuck Close in advancing a cause such as the President's re-election. We could never have done so without our community of creative friends and family, regardless of political affiliation and whether in Oakland, New York City, or far-flung corners of the globe.

Era Farnsworth in the White House Map Room with a tapestry portrait of President Barack Obama by Chuck Close

Chuck Close and assistant Manolo Bustamante at the White House

Donald Farnsworth and Chuck Close with Bo, the Obamas' dog

Donald Farnsworth and Chuck Close in Close's New York studio, 2010

More art by Chuck Close from Magnolia Editions

Friday, October 25, 2013

Artists at Magnolia: Guy Diehl, Claudia Marseille

Local artists Guy Diehl and Claudia Marseille were at Magnolia Editions this week, employing both brand new and time-honored processes to create artwork.

Claudia used our freshly installed UV-cured acrylic flatbed printer to print enlarged versions of her layered encaustic paintings, using panels layered with modeling paste and gesso to create a richly textured surface:

Claudia Marseille at Magnolia with prints on textured panel, with a tapestry by Masami Teraoka

Claudia's impressive socks!

Master printer Tallulah Terryll prepares panels for printing on Magnolia's new UV-cured flatbed printer

Detail of prints on panel by Claudia Marseille

Claudia Marseille with print on panel and Nick Stone's dog Shelly

Detail of print on panel by Claudia Marseille

Shelly admiring a print on panel by Claudia Marseille

Meanwhile, still life master Guy Diehl used another marvel of modern technology – the paintbrush – to hand-color a series of small etchings, scrutinizing each print through a loupe to perfect the tiniest details:

Guy Diehl hand-colors etchings at Magnolia

A view of the world through Guy's eyes

The tools of Guy Diehl's trade

More art by Guy Diehl from Magnolia Editions

Claudia Marseille (Artist's website)

Monday, September 30, 2013

Exhibitions in October

Enrique Chagoya - Time Can Pass Fast or Slowly, 2009
Mixed media with acrylic on gessoed amate paper
40.5 x 40.75 in. Edition of 10

October will be full of shows featuring work from Magnolia Editions at venues all over the world!

In Spain, Enrique Chagoya's exhibition at the Fundacion Artium de Alava, "Enrique Chagoya: Palimpsesto canĂ­bal" will open this Friday, October 4th and remain on view through January 12, 2014.

Here in Oakland, Joyce Gordon Gallery's ten year anniversary show "Then is Now" includes work by a host of Magnolia-affiliated artists including Mildred Howard, Hung Liu, Squeak Carnwath, Enrique Chagoya, and Mel Ramos. Bay Area residents are encouraged to check out "Then is Now" this month; the show comes down October 26, 2013.

Meanwhile, at Hong Kong's 10 Chancery Lane Gallery, several tapestries published by Magnolia Editions are included in Hung Liu's "Mid Autumn Moon" exhibition, on view through this Saturday, October 5th.

In Berkeley, California, Magnolia directors Donald and Era Farnsworth and longtime Magnolia collaborator Rupert Garcia are among the artists featured in "New Media Combinations: Traditional - Digital," which runs until November 16, 2013 at the Berkeley Art Center. Artists in the show will also participate in a panel on October 26 where attendees will have more opportunities to hear about the inspiration and processes behind each work.

Finally, our friends in Oregon have the opportunity to see numerous tapestry editions by Chuck Close at the Oregon Center for the Photographic Arts / Blue Sky Gallery, where "Chuck Close: Tapestries" runs through October 27, 2013.

Papermaking workshops in October & November

Donald Farnsworth demonstrating a Japanese washi papermaking technique (artist's rendition)

UPDATE: Due to popular demand we will hold a second session of Introduction to Papermaking with Michelle Wilson on November 16th from 10 am to 4 pm! Email to sign up.

We are pleased to announce that Magnolia Editions will be hosting papermaking workshops in our newly renovated paper studio! Please reserve your spot by emailing, and don't hesitate to pass this info on to anyone you know who might be curious about how paper is made:
  • Introduction to Papermaking with instructor Michelle Wilson (special appearance by Donald Farnsworth!) will meet on Saturday, Oct. 19 from 10 am to 4 pm:
    Learn the basics of creating your own handmade paper in the European tradition with Cotton and Abaca fibers. From the linter and beating stage to finished sheets, you will learn the process for making paper with different moulds and in a variety of colors. Students will learn to set up vats, pigment fibers, form and embellish sheets of paper. We will begin with a brief introductory lecture and spend the rest of the day making paper. Students are encouraged to bring items to use as inclusions such as dried flowers, lace, fabric, or old printed materials that will not bleed when wet. Please note: this is a wet class – participants are encouraged to wear clothing and shoes that can get wet.

    Instructor Michelle Wilson is an artist in whose work handmade paper plays a central role, whether in printmaking, book arts, or installations. She teaches throughout the Bay Area, most recently at San Francisco State, the San Jose ICA Print Center, and the Kala Art Institute.
  • Japanese Papermaking with instructor Carol Brighton will meet on Saturday, Oct. 26 from 10 am to 4 pm:
    Japanese paper (washi) is world famous for its beauty and strength. Learn to make traditional washi step-by-step from cooking and beating the fibers to sheet formation and drying. We will make sheets on sugetas (Japanese moulds) and Western style moulds, learn to laminate inclusions in collage, and explore other techniques for decorative papers. Students are encouraged to bring items to use as inclusions such as dried flowers, lace, fabric, or printed papers that will not bleed when wet.

    Instructor Carol Brighton is an artist whose handmade paper expertise can be seen in her printmaking and pulp paintings. Brighton teaches papermaking at the Academy of Art and also conducts printmaking workshops in her own studio.
The fee for each workshop is $120 per person; classes will be limited to 8 participants each, so early reservations are recommended.

Again, to reserve a place in these workshops, please email

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Review: Chuck Close at Guild Hall

Installation view of watercolor prints by Chuck Close, printed and published by Magnolia Editions. Photo by Gary Mamay

Artist and writer Mike Solomon offers a considered and appreciative assessment of Chuck Close's current exhibition at Guild Hall in his review for Hamptons Art Hub.

Solomon singles out the watercolor prints created at Magnolia Editions for special attention, writing:

Other works in the east gallery at Guild Hall show how Close has confronted the newest of media challenges, digital printing, which has since its inception revolutionized the art world. His archival watercolor pigment prints — large portraits of
Cindy, 2012, Kiki, 2012, Cecily, 2012, and Zhang I, 2012 — are among the most sumptuous of his works I have ever seen.

Playing with the techniques of watercolor, in which tonalities are made when light penetrates the medium and then reflects back to the eye, carrying with it the color and tone the medium has bestowed, Close brings to bear in these absolutely gorgeous works all the associations a viewer might have about watercolors. There are echoes here of Cezanne, Turner, Homer and Klee.

Through the computer, he is able to assign tinted values in each square of the grid and, I suspect, to print these “washes” in layers, through multiple passes, to arrive at the tones he wants. Through this technology, he achieves the same effects earlier artists developed manually, with a brush.

The use of the digital domain to reinvent watercolor is the kind of thing many in the art world hoped for when the digital revolution started, but there have been too few examples of this kind of innovation. These works certainly change all that. I suspect an entirely new genre of watercolor painting will be derived from them. They are that important.

Notice the size of the grid, too, as its variation determines the kind of focus the viewer experiences of the image. In
Cindy, 2012, the grid size is about one and half inches, so the abstraction of the work dominates until the viewer moves back quite a distance from the surface. Cecily, 2012, has an even larger grid of about two inches, so the “immediate splendor” (Alfonso Ossorio’s wonderful phrase) is what the viewer gets from its abstraction until moving to the opposite side of the gallery. Then the representation finally comes into focus. In Kiki, 2012 and Zhang I, 2012, the grid is smaller, about three quarters of an inch. In these two, the images are tighter and the focus moves closer to the surface of the work.

This choice of grid size is another one of those areas that Close plays with, and it begs, along with the beauty of the watercolor tints, the kind of contemplation that keeps one involved in the work.

To read the full review, please visit the Hamptons Art Hub website.

Tapestries by Chuck Close, published by Magnolia Editions, at Guild Hall. Photo by Gary Mamay

For more details on the show and associated events, please see this entry; for information on visiting Guild Hall, please check their website.

More art by Chuck Close from Magnolia Editions

Monday, September 9, 2013

More photos: Chuck Close at Guild Hall

Following up on our earlier coverage of Chuck Close's VIP opening at Guild Hall come these candid shots, courtesy of Hamptons Art Hub; all photos below by Pat Rogers.

“Chuck Close: Recent Works” continues through October 14. Guild Hall is located at 158 Main Street, East Hampton, New York; for visiting information please check their website.

All of the artworks pictured can be seen in detail on Magnolia Editions' website.

Chuck Close, art dealer Beth McNeill Muhs, and artist/model Sienna Shields with Close's 2012 print Cindy (smile), printed and published by Magnolia Editions.

Artist Cindy Sherman and Close in front of watercolor prints from Magnolia including Self-Portrait (Yellow Raincoat), 2013, and Kiki, 2012.

Actor Alec Baldwin with Close's 2013 Self-Portrait (Pink T-shirt) tapestry, published by Magnolia Editions.

Tapestries by Chuck Close including Lou, a 2012 portrait of Lou Reed, at Guild Hall.

Lou Reed himself at the opening.

Chuck Close, Cindy Sherman, Robert Storr, and others pose in front of Close's 2013 Self-Portrait (Pink T-shirt) tapestry.

More art by Chuck Close from Magnolia Editions