(left) Alex Katz, Brisk Day, 1990. Woodcut, 36 in x 29 1/8 in. Gift of Fenner Milton, 2013. (middle) Alex Katz, Brisk Day, 1990. Aquatint, 35 3/8 in x 28 1/2 in. Gift of Fenner Milton, 2013 (right) Alex Katz, Brisk Day, 1990. Lithograph, 36 in x 29 in. Gift of Fenner Milton, 2013
These three portraits, recent acquisitions for the museum, are currently the only thing displayed in a small gallery at the Phillips. Take a moment to look at each one. What are the similarities? What are the differences?
It’s not until we look at the labels that we realize what creates the small nuances in color and line between the three works—each one is a different form of print. Artist Alex Katz is known for his arresting simplicity of line and form, bright, flat colors, and a powerful graphic punch that link them to commercial art and popular culture. By generalizing the features of a sitter or a landscape, and removing any expressive or emotional content, Katz focuses instead on formal properties of light, scale and color.
This evening, a sold-out audience will look on as master printer Scip Barnhart demonstrates basic printmaking techniques on view in the exhibition Jasper Johns: Variations on a Theme. Barnhart, who teaches printmaking, art of the book, and drawing at Georgetown University and is director of Union Printmakers Atelier, created a limited edition print for the occasion. He printed one for each participant and hung them up to dry in his studio last week, then sent us this photo.
Special edition prints (lithograph) drying in the studio. Photo: Scip Barnhart
Special edition prints (intaglio) drying in the studio. Photo: Scip Barnhart
Just a snippet of the tools in Scip's studio. Photo: Brooke Rosenblatt
Master printer Scip Barnhart will give an interactive demonstration of basic printmaking methods in conjunction with the upcoming exhibition, Jasper Johns: Variations on a Theme. Recently, a group of educators and curators visited his studio at Georgetown University to get a sense of the techniques and the magic of the printmaking process!
Scip demonstrates the etching process. Photo Brooke Rosenblatt
Educators and curators collaborate on a lithograph. Photo: Brooke Rosenblatt
Scip reveals our collaborative drypoint. Photo: Brooke Rosenblatt