Thursday, March 23, 2017

Barbara Morris | art ltd.

Critic’s Picks: 

San Francisco

By Barbara Morris

From “Throat Singing in Droghobycz,” 2016
A hand-painted book, Ward Schumaker
Page size 181⁄2″ x 121⁄2″, 56 pages + cover
Photo: courtesy Jack Fischer gallery

San Francisco-based Ward Schumaker—originally well-known for his illustration work for high-profile clients like The Washington Post and Hermès—quickly achieved notoriety for his unique mixed-media works combining acrylic paint and bookbinding paste. His well-received 2013 inaugural show at Jack Fischer’s Potrero street gallery featured remarkable artist’s books, providing an excuse for his passionate yet disciplined investigations in the properties and potentials of paint. For his upcoming show at Jack Fischer, Schumaker will include new books such as Throat Singing in Drohobycz (2016), inspired by Polish author Bruno Schulz’ The Street of Crocodiles. Other new works to be shown, on Stonehenge paper mounted on canvas, reveal an underpinning geometric structure: some comprised of sets of stacked circles, muscular whorls of paint, taking their inspiration from Brancusi’s Endless Column (1938), others using a grid or pyramid format comprised of squares, or circles, as well as occasional blocks of text. With a limited palette of black, white and red, augmented by glimpses of blue or green, the quality of intentionality of each brushstroke—and the care with which his seemingly random text blocks and blobs of paint are organized—assumes a primacy that is riveting. Ward Schumaker “Priapus and Rain Fall” at Jack Fischer Gallery, runs April 22 – June 10, 2017.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Works on Canvas | Winter 2017

Big Blue Tower, acrylic on canvas, 62" x 42"

Green Tower Quartet, acrylic on canvas, 72" x 48"

Red and Black Tower Quartet, acrylic on canvas, 72" x 48"

We Are All Golem, acrylic on canvas, 62" x 42"

I Will Be 100 People, acrylic on canvas, 48" x 32"

Twin Towers, acrylic one canvas, 48" x 32"

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Letter and Image | Legion of Honor | San Francisco

My favorite room in San Francisco's Legion of Honor is The Reva and David Logan Gallery of Illustrated Books. So it's a huge pleasure for me that curator Stephen Woodall has included one of my hand-painted books in his current show there, Letter and Image: Inspired Alphabets. You'll find it nestled between Léger and Le Corbusier, directly behind Kurt Schwitters and Theo van Doesburg. Other artists include Claes Oldenburg, Russel Maret and Natalia Goncharova. Esteemed company!

The book he has chosen to exhibit is Respite (Markandya). Woodall describes it: "Through his hand-cut and painted lettering in Respite (Markandaya), Schumaker related a parable without visually depicting it. The story––which came to the artist in a dream and which he sees as a variation of one in the Sanskrit text Bhagavad-Gita––follows a small boy emerging from the mouth of a whale. The text over several pages reads: " 'I hope you enjoyed your rest, my son,' said the whale / then it turned and re-entered the waters / the little boy smiled, waved good-bye, and turning towards the rising son / began to sweep the beach."

The book will be on display from 04 March thru 02 July 2017.
For information: Legion of Honor

Or, to see the entire book, please visit my earlier blog posting: Markandeya.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Priapus and Rain Fall

Priapus and Rain Fall is a hand-painted book, page size  25" x 19" (opens to 38" x 25"), 56 pages plus cover, painted on Stonehenge, created in 2017, and bound by John Demerritt.