Monday, March 31, 2014

In memory of Mark Stock

Mark Stock - The Butler's in Love (Blue), 2001
lithograph, 21.75 x 16.25 in. Edition of 140
Published by Modernism

We are very sad to report that a dear friend of the studio since its inception, the painter Mark Stock, has passed away at the age of 62.

Mark honed his mastery of printmaking at Gemini G.E.L. in the late 1970s, working as a printer for artists such as Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns. Later, his paintings, etchings, and monoprints of pensive lovers displayed a unique talent for summoning an entire world out of color and costume.

Mark’s all-time hero was Charlie Chaplin; as he revealed in a 1988 article in California magazine, the cartoony gloves and floppy folds of fabric worn by the characters in his paintings were an homage to Chaplin’s oversized style on screen.

Like his hero, Mark himself was larger than life — an effortless magician, a talented jazz drummer, a championship title-holding golfer, and of course a phenomenal painter. With his dark suits and wry charm, he seemed to inhabit the romantic, old Hollywood atmosphere of his paintings, even going so far as to bring his visions to life by first casting and staging each painting as a photograph. “It’s the most fun I have,” he once told an interviewer; “then I have to paint it.”

He was also quite generous when it came to sharing the magic of his world. When Donald Farnsworth taught a graduate class on large-scale art projects at Magnolia a few years ago, Mark invited students on a field trip to his Oakland home. He naturally provided great entertainment with a few magic tricks, but also took the time to patiently and thoughtfully answer questions about the life of a working artist; it was a display of benevolence and hospitality that spoke volumes about the painter’s character.

Mark Stock - Self-Portrait, 1994
drypoint etching, 13.75 x 11.25 in. Edition of 20

Mark was preparing for a major show to open May 1st at Modernism, in celebration of the silver anniversary of his most famous painting, The Butler's In Love - Absinthe. The painting has hung over the piano at Bix Restaurant in San Francisco since 1989; it has been seen in movies and even inspired its own short film by the actor David Arquette.

Michelle Huneven neatly described the emotional pull of Stock’s artwork in the forementioned California article, writing: 

The strength of his technique and storytelling provides pleasures that are age-old, operatic, Shakespearean. Given a few minutes alone with those bald, lovesick butlers, […] the heart’s about to burst but the soul is smiling.

Mark Stock - Homage to George de La Tour, 2000
oil on canvas, 32 x 30 in.

More art by Mark Stock from Magnolia Editions

Monday, March 24, 2014

Recent Projects exhibition at Magnolia Editions

Mixed-media work by Mary Hull Webster on Awagami paper, 2014; see more new work at our "Recent Projects" exhibition, open to the public April 1st.

We are pleased to announce an exhibition of new editions and unique works at our recently renovated gallery: "Magnolia Editions: Recent Projects" will be on view beginning April 1st here at our West Oakland warehouse location.

"Magnolia Editions: Recent Projects" features new tapestry works by Chuck Close and Kiki Smith, as well as recent editions by Inez Storer, Guy Diehl, and Masami Teraoka, and new woodcuts by Mel Ramos.

We are also pleased to feature work on handmade Japanese papers from the Awagami Factory in Tokushima, Japan. The Awagami paper mill has a rich history spanning seven generations of traditional washi papermakers; they now produce a variety of exceptional handmade papers, including washi that is specially formulated for inkjet printing.

Craig Anczelowitz and Aya Fujimori of Awagami Factory have generously supplied us with Awagami papers for this exhibition, which have been printed, drawn, painted, and even sewn on by artists including Mildred Howard, Bob Nugent, Mary Hull Webster, and Hung Liu.

"Recent Projects" coincides with the 42nd annual conference of the nation's largest and most prestigious print organization, the Southern Graphics Council Institute, which will be held in the Bay Area this Friday, March 28th.

The SGCI will award Magnolia director Donald Farnsworth an award for Innovation; Farnsworth and other award winners are featured in a show at UC Berkeley's Worth Ryder Institute, and Magnolia Editions will be hosting two tours on March 28th for registered SGCI attendees.

Registered tour attendees will be able to meet Craig and Aya of Awagami Factory at the studio during the tours on the 28th; the works on Awagami paper will remain on view as part of the "Recent Projects" show through April.

We invite you to sign up for the SGCI tours on the 28th, or else please visit us after April 1st during business hours (10 am to 6 pm) here at 2527 Magnolia Street in Oakland to see "Recent Projects" featuring work on Awagami paper.

Awagami Factory on the web

More information about the SGCI conference

Friday, March 14, 2014

Kiki Smith review in Artforum

Kiki Smith - Fortune, 2014
Jacquard tapestry with hand painting - 116 x 78 in. Edition of 10

Kiki Smith's show "Wonder" at Pace Gallery has been drawing critical raves, and snapshots of work from the show are popping up all over Twitter.

In particular, Smith's tapestry editions (published by Magnolia Editions) have been receiving favorable attention. Artforum reviewer Paige Bradley selected Smith's "Wonder" show for the magazine's Picks section, writing:

“Wonder,” the title of Kiki Smith’s latest New York exhibition, suitably describes both the excitement in first encountering Smith’s garden of earthly delights and an astonished curiosity at their craft-intensive processes. [...]

Three nearly ten-foot-long tapestries, all 2014, make the grandest gesture in the exhibition. Portraying almost Edenic scenes of a nude girl and a fawn, as in
Congregation, or spiderwebs flecked with gold and silver leaf among shooting plants in Spinners, the medium is dusted off and made contemporary by virtue of the vibrantly abstract, cut-up collage borders. Translated into a crisply precise (and a forerunner of digital technology) Jacquard weave, they reflect the heterogeneous textures of Smith’s drawings and set these extraordinary works apart from any mere nostalgia or worship of antiquated forms.

"Wonder" is on view through March 29th at Pace's 510 West 25th Street location. For more information, please visit the Pace Gallery website. To read more about the process behind Smith's tapestries, check out this interview with the Denton Record-Chronicle.

More art by Kiki Smith at Magnolia Editions

Thursday, March 13, 2014

SCGI Awards Exhibition at Worth Ryder Gallery

Donald and Era Farnsworth with their collaborative 2004 tapestry Dharmakaya in Tokyo in 2008.
Dharmakaya is included in the Awards Exhibition at Worth Ryder Gallery, opening this Wednesday, March 19th.

The Southern Graphics Council International conference is right around the corner! The SCGI is hosting its 42nd annual conference, Bridges: Spanning Tradition, Innovation, and Activism, in the San Francisco Bay Area this year; it will be the first West Coast conference in the organization’s history.

The SGCI will present a variety of awards to distinguished print artists and UC Berkeley Continuing Lecturer Randy Hussong has organized an exhibition at the university's Worth Ryder Art Gallery for the recipients of these awards, including the Innovation award winner, Magnolia director Donald Farnsworth.

The Grand Opening Reception for this exhibition is this Wednesday, March 19th from 4 to 7 pm.

Rather than exhibiting only his own work, Farnsworth has chosen to highlight a variety of projects published by Magnolia Editions in the last thirty years. The show will include works representing a host of proprietary and unorthodox processes by a veritable who's-who of Bay Area artists including Joan Brown, Enrique Chagoya, Hung Liu, Ray Saunders, Squeak Carnwath, Bruce Conner, and Rupert Garcia, plus a collaborative print by William Wiley, Robert Hudson, and Richard Shaw; recent tapestries by Chuck Close and Kiki Smith round out the exhibition.

Kiki Smith - Cathedral, 2013
Jacquard tapestry - 113 x 75 in. Edition of 10

The gallery will also host a special Memorial Retrospective Exhibition for UC Berkeley Department of Art Practice Professor Emeritus George Miyasaki (1935 – 2013).

Additionally, work will be exhibited by award winners Juan Fuentes and Sylvia Solochek Walters, and by Professor Emeritus Richard Shaw, whose award is in the appropriately titled Breaking The Mold category. There will also be installations by Ehren Tool -- a ceramicist who Magnolia blog readers may recall from the Combat Paper Project -- as well as the UC Berkeley Advanced Printmaking Class.

If you can't make the Grand Opening Reception on Wednesday, March 19th, there will be a special Conference Tour event on Friday, March 28th from 10 to 5 pm.

For more information on the show and associated events, please visit the Exhibition's home page.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Handmade paper workshops in April & May

Photo by Michelle Wilson from her most recent papermaking workshop in Magnolia Editions

In April and May, Magnolia Editions will be hosting two new papermaking workshops in our 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 interested:

Pulp Painting Techniques with instructor Michelle Wilson will meet on Saturday, April 5, 2014 from 10 am to 4 pm:

Handmade paper can act as more than sheets - finely beaten paper pulp can function like paint! When dried, the pulp painted imagery is a part of the actual paper, which can stand alone as a work of art or be transformed further with printmaking, photography, collage, painting, becoming an extraordinary mixed media creation. This class will cover various pulp painting techniques, such as direct painting, stencils, and collage inclusions. Students are encouraged to bring items for inclusions, such as fabric, old photographs, thread, lace, or other items that will not bleed when wet.

Instructor Michelle Wilson is a papermaker, printmaker, book and installation artist. Her work has been part of exhibitions at numerous institutions, including the X Initiative in New York, NY, the Chicago Center for Book and Paper Arts, the 2006 International Biennial for the Artist's Book in Alexandria, Egypt, and at the Joshibi Art Museum outside of Tokyo, Japan. Her extensive teaching experience includes San Francisco State University, Bryn Mawr College, Moore College of Art and Design, the University of the Arts, the San Jose ICA Print Center, and the Kala Art Institute. In addition, she has served as a hand papermaking consultant to Signa-Haiti, an NGO in the process of developing a sustainable and bio-dynamic economy in Haiti.

Creating Paper Sculptures with instructor Rhiannon Alpers will meet on Saturday, May 3, 2014 from 10 am to 4 pm:

This is a hands-on class to learn about creating custom shaped paper sculptures from wire, reed armatures and shaped forms. Students will learn the different preparation and building techniques for paper sculpture, and then try them to get a feel for which process they enjoy. The covering material will be over-beaten abaca, a thin translucent material which shrinks as it dries. Building materials will be provided, and thin over-beaten abaca will be prepared in advance. Students will have the opportunity to learn how to pull sheets, press and cover their sculptures. The sculptures will be small due to time constraints, but techniques for larger scale sculpture will be discussed. We will spend a small portion of the day discussing several current artists in the field and methods of process. Course level: beginning or intermediate.

Instructor Rhiannon Alpers is a papermaker, letterpress printer and book artist. She holds a BA and an MFA in Book and Paper Arts. She has taught workshops and college courses nationally, and frequently teaches papermaking and bookbinding in the Bay Area. Her custom bookbinding and letterpress business Gazelle and Goat is located in San Francisco.

Classes will be limited to 8 participants each, so early reservations are recommended. Your place will be considered reserved once we have received your payment.
The fee for each workshop is $160 per person; materials will be provided at no additional cost. Each participant will also receive a free copy of Donald Farnsworth’s book A Guide To Japanese Papermaking (while supplies last).

(A note on cancelled reservations: cancellations will be refunded in full if made at least three days before the class, or if we can fill your spot. Cancellations occuring within three days before class that cannot be filled will be given a 25% refund.)

For more information or to arrange payment, please email