Saturday, 29 October 2011

Mystery print

Quiz time

I would like readers to give a direct and honest opinion of this print. I don't think it will be recognized. But, without directly knowing who made it, (I do), is there some one who dares give an opinion: Do you like it ? Is it good or is it mediocre or maybe even a sad print. What is it stylish, when (about) was it made. Does it make you think of some one or do you have a suggestion, do you happen to know comparable  prints ? 

I'll give away it is German and obviously a flower market. And it very well may have been owned by the maker or his/her family. It's biggish: 36 x 40 cm. It has received a new blue matt. And with a saw and glasscutter a vintage 1950's car boot simple wooden frame was made to fitt today. (Do you like it ?)
And here's the details in the advertising board (?) on the wall of the house upper left.

Maybe the text (old German) starts before the picture, there's no clue, (but I don't think so)  so it could say: Reich...... or even Frankreich......... (middle sentence) and last sentence could say: FaWos........ (company name Wos......)

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Emil Pottner: Feathers !

Emil Pottner
 (1872 Salzburg – 1942 Treblinka)

born in Austria but considered German painter, ceramics and graphic artist
 naturalist and bird behavioral printmaker.

The bridge to my last posting (budgie feathers) and to Charles' recent posting on ModernPrintmakers (link) discussing Walter Klemm, Carl Thiemann and Emil Orlik (poultry feathers) is in these two porcelain love birds by printmaker Emil Pottner.

Artistically gifted but from humble Jewish social background (his father was a singer in the Royal Court Theater in Braunschweig) Emil entered Munich “Akademie der Bildende Künste" in 1891 aged 18 on a scholarship only to become very unhappy and sick with the strong regime ruling in that Institute.
I think, after all, he was the real master of poultry printmaking, as good or even better as the above artists and looking closely he added something special to each and every one of his prints. Maybe he is to be called the first behavioral naturalist printmaker.

Impoverished and on his own after disappointedly leaving the Akademie his first and, thank God, successful public show in the Munich "Künstlerverein” made him to move to Berlin and allowing him to travel to the Netherlands in 1905 to study the Old Masters.

During the stay in neighbouring Netherlands he discovered Delft, centre of Dutch porcelain industry, interested as he was in sculpting birds in porcelain. 
Returning to Berlin after mastering the technique he developed his skills in this art further in winter and in summertime becoming one of the truly Great graphic artists of his time in depicting his love for the Common and the Small.

He needn’t go far to find, observe, sketch, draw, cut and print what he loved most. Common birds, poultry. And bird behavior. In all his bird prints always something of the behavior of the species is shown.

Just common farm birds, roosters, chicken and hens; geese and swans, ducks, cormorants, grebes, magpies, herons and crows. 

But always fighting, courting, nursing, hunting. His birds in flight, deceitfully simple prints, are proof of his extraordinary keen and very accurate observations. Turmoil in the pond, two species of birds and breathtaking rendering and colours in the waters surface. It looks so simple.  

His self-portrait in print showing him the way he choose to depict his birds. In its natural habitat and doing what the species does most and best. Himself at the edge of a pond or ditch with his pencil and sketch book. And even in that print he cannot resist showing the white duck stretching its wings. As only a white duck does. The coots running on water, you almost can hear their splashing and cries. 

He published several books illustrated with lithographs and drawings, all of them on the above subjects.
Thor (Germanic God) casting his shadow over the world. 

In his Secession Period and emotional and political coloured work on the outbreak of WWI it is almost as he foresaw the worlds' and his own terrible fate and unavailing death in Treblinka death camp in 1942.
"The Hands of Destiny intervene in battle with relentless force
The fighter, only shortly before showing his breast
a strong sense of  black destination coming over him now.
Fighting back in despair, there is this feeling, a hunch
This is the End"

Monday, 24 October 2011

Amy Holliday

talented award winning young British illustrating artist.

Inkfish by Amy Holliday
Britain has an enviable tradition and history of great illustrating artists. Whether it is designing and illustrating posters, nature books, children’s books or magazines. There’s an almost endless list of wonderful artists. 
Allan William Seaby (1867-1953) (link), famous printmaker but also the illustrator of two wonderful Ladybird British Birds books,
Richard Chopping (1917-2008) (link), illustrator and also a printmaker. 

David Gentleman (1930- ), we took his great books on London, Paris, Italy and Britain with us on our holidays. 

Paul Hogarth (1917-2001), books on international scenery, tourism and literature (showing Graham Greene’s country) and many others.
Kay Nixon (1895- ) (link)

Budgies by Amy Holliday

Still digging and excavating deeper into the world of parrots on prints I stumbled over these great fresh and spontaneous watercolors by a new star artist Amy Holliday. Only a few weeks later to read in her Blog  (link) she’s already won a National Award (link). Hardly a surprise. Who knows, maybe we could lure Amy into printmaking one day.
Gold finch by Amy Holliday.
If I am singing praise about Amy’s illustrating skills and budgies I cannot withhold these examples (below) by another and already established British illustrating artist from Cornwall Alison Fennel.

These two ladies could easily fill up an aviary with colourful and exotic birds  

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Karl Schmidt Wolfratshausen (update)

Combined forces of readers and fellow print enthousiast often after some time resulting in additional biographical facts, examples and new prints coming to light. But this time a very fast and extensive update on prints by the earlier, september, posting on German printmaker  Schmidt-Wolfratshausen is the result of Ed Ogul from Paramour Fine Arts sending  me 5 more examples of prints in his gallery collection for sharing.

And I am ashamed to admit, I showed this one (left) before "by a unknown printmaker" but it is by Karl Schmidt-Wolfartshausen also.
So, from zero examples by this printmaker last month there's now a nice collection of his work shown together in these two postings. His prints are surely not rating among those of the top German printmakers and shouldn't compared. His parrots print so far his finest. Comparing it with these prints he must have had some help with that one and is he giving away maybe friendly ties with fellow printmakers of the period. But who knows some more will show up. 

Thank you Ed. 

See original posting:

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Tang Juey Lee

What ever happened to

Tang Juey Lee 
(born 1954)

Singapore painter of orchids

to new readers:
This posting is updated september 1th,  2012

This Singapore artist exhibited in 1978/1979 in the Singapore Hilton Hotel. He was also in the group of 8 protegees exhibiting very succesfully in a traveling exhibition in several Middle East capitals. Arranged by Singapore gallery owner Della Butcher (1922-1993, who, reading Wikipedia, was a very intriguing person having lived a very interesting life). 
The 8 artists surrounding the Mother of Singapore artists: Della Butcher.

Stumbling over these soft toned two budgerigars, that are reminiscent of the  aquatients by famous British animal, flowers and bird artist Edward Julius Detmold (1883-1957)

and because I am still excavating the world of parrots on prints, making me very curious and anxious to see more of Mr. Lee's work. His budgies however recently sold in an Australian auction.
Writing a request to Leonard Joel Auctions in South Yarra, Melbourne, Australia, with the friendly help of Art Assistant Caroline Rook contacting the buyer on her initiative(!) I received within days copies of some 1981 paper clippings that had been attached to the painting sold. Revealing the following information:

1975: graduated from Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, and soon after protegé of Della Butcher. Nicknamed the "Orchid Lover" for the choice of his subjects and always painting in famous Singapore Botanical Gardens harbouring the worlds largest collections of orchids.
1975-1981: Group and one-man exhibitions in W. Asia, Singapore, Hong-Kong, Brisbane. And in Texas, London and Dubai.

His Orchid Paintings were in 1981 already in collections all over the world (to my surprise even in the Netherlands, but were ?) and he received commissions decorating many embassies, presidential hotel suites etc. all over the world.  

And yet there's nothing more to be found, no pictures, no book, review or article after 1981. With the help of readers I'll do my best changing that. 

Thank you Caroline.

All further information on Mr. Lee is welcomed.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Clifton Karhu (1927-2007)

When I did some earlier postings on American-Japanese printmaker Clifton Kahru in December 2010 I could not foresee the following. 

Last week I received this friendly email from Paul Cerelsky making inquiries about his two Karhu prints after finding the Linosaurus postings.

But I am by no means an expert let alone have any specifique expertise on this kind of prints. But I like them very much. They are from his earlier and I think finest period of printmaking.
Paul, having lived in Japan for 40 years, and now disabled, is trying to find funds for buying a new means of transport allowing him to go outdoors. Sadly he is forced to decide selling these two prints that were given to him by the artist and friend Cliff in Japan in 1968.

I've agreed with Paul showing and sharing them here. Earlier posting on my favorite prints by Karhu has seen many visitors so maybe there's a Karhu collector out there appreciating this opportunity and great provenance of these prints.

Here's Pauls email adres: 


See these Links to my earlier postings on Clifton Karhu:


Saturday, 8 October 2011

Kay Nixon

Kay Nixon
(Kathleen Irene Blundell-Nixon)

British children's author, painter, muralist, illustrator and poster artist.
If ever there was a British artist who should have been a printmaker it surely was Kay NixonTo my humble opinion. She produced so many wonderful pictures in a woodblock orientalist Japanese style. In watercolor and pencil. But, sadly, she wasn't a printmaker.
These great watercolour budgies is how I stumbled over Kay Nixon’s art. Looking for parrots (great and small) on prints on the www. 
Just have a look and enjoy some of the following illustrations from this great and forgotten (1962) book:

and you’ll understand my earlier suggestion why she should have been and would have been an excellent printmaker. (All pictures are mouse clickable) 

Kay Nixon was trained at Camden and Birmingham Schools of Art and after her  marriage (becoming Mrs. Blundell) lived in India for 25 years. In India  she made illustrations for the Time of India Press and designed some 30 posters for the Indian State Railways. I found only these two.
She painted horse portraits and did murals for the Bombay Natural History Museum. She even decorated the interior of a maharaja’s private plane.
Returning to England her career was to be mostly in illustrating some of the most lovely animal books: "Bird families", "Animal mothers and babies", "Animal Legends" Books on "Pushti" and "Pindy Poo". And she worked with famous Enid Blyton.
Kay Nixon made extensive travels through the USA, India, China and Australia. She was awarded many times. 
There are a great many books she illustrated still and easily available. Great Art at bargain prices.