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)