David Hockney: art and technology

David Hockney has always pushed the limits of technology in his art and his latest exhibition David Hockney: a bigger exhibition at the de Young in San Francisco contains works that clearly demonstrate this tendency. In addition to more traditional media, the exhibition includes example of paintings that Hockney created using the ‘Brushes’ application on his iPad, as well as digital films displayed over multiple screens. You can see some examples of this kind of work on Hockney’s website: http://www.hockneypictures.com/home.php.

Long before the iPad, way back in 1988, Hockney was experimenting with the then cutting-edge-technology of the fax machine as a means of printmaking. The NGA’s Tyler Collection contains over 200 faxes sent by Hockney to Ken Tyler in the years 1988-89. The faxes range from mischievous musings:

to portraits of friends, both human and animal:

Complex images made up of sixteen or more sheets, similar to his later panel paintings – like the NGA’s A bigger Grand Canyonwere sent with a key showing how to assemble the overall image: a kind of jigsaw puzzle for the recipient.

Key

Abstract landscape

Check out our website for more on David Hockney: http://bit.ly/IeAOkJ

Anthony Caro, 1924-2013

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It is with regret that we report the death of Anthony Caro, who passed away on October 23 at the age of 89. Caro was one of the great modernist sculptors; an artist whose explorations of space, form and materials continued throughout his distinguished career.

Caro was best known for his abstract sculptures in steel and other metals. Duccio variations no.7 – a generous donation to the American Friends of the National Gallery of Australia by Ken and Marabeth Tyler – is currently on display in the NAB Sculpture Gallery. A monumental work in sandstone and steel, the sculpture is one of seven created as a response to Duccio’s The Annunciation in association with the Encounters exhibition staged by the National Gallery, London in Summer 2000.

As well as his work in metal, Caro explored the medium of paper pulp at Tyler Graphics Ltd. Caro enjoyed working with paper pulp as it allowed him “…to get closer to the graphic idea, to painting ideas and away from being so sculptural.” By manipulating sheets of Tyler’s handmade paper while still damp, Caro created soft, undulating curves which he embellished with intaglio printing processes, drawing and painting. The resulting works are delicate explorations of the sculptural possibilities of paper that blur the boundaries between painting, drawing and sculpture.

The Gallery has recently received a thoughtful donation of one such sculpture – #4 Big white – by Penelope Seidler AM. This work is a significant addition to the Gallery’s International Prints, Drawings, and Illustrated Books Department and exemplifies a unique moment in Caro’s oeuvre. The piece will complement three sculptural pieces from the paper pulp series held in the Kenneth Tyler Printmaking Collection.

Below you will find a series of links to articles and tributes that chronicle the life of this extraordinary artist:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/25/arts/design/anthony-caro-sculptor-who-discovered-a-path-to-abstraction-dies-at-89.html?_r=0

http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2013/oct/24/sir-anthony-caro-dies

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-24654484

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/art/art-news/10401828/Sir-Anthony-Caro-British-sculptor-dies-aged-89.html

Remembering Walasse Ting

In 1964 Roy Lichtenstein was joined by 27 of his contemporaries in contributing lithographic illustrations to One Cent Life, a volume of poems by Walasse Ting. Visitors to Roy Lichtenstein: Pop remix have the rare opportunity to view sections of this significant publication, in which Ting’s ‘raunchy Pidgin English’[1] is united with the work of key artists including Joan Mitchell, Robert Rauschenberg, Andy Warhol and Claes Oldenburg. Ting, a Chinese-American poet, printer and painter, produced several illustrated portfolios over the course of his career; however One Cent Life stands apart for bringing together European and American artists working within disparate frameworks, effectively signposting the seismic shift occurring at the time from the dominance of Abstract Expressionism to Pop Art.

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Pages from “1 Cent Life” by Walasse Ting, 1964, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, purchased 1983. Top left: Roy Lichtenstein. Top right: Robert Rauschenberg
Bottom left: Jim Dine. Bottom right: Claes Oldenburg

Born in 1929, Ting was raised in Shanghai where he studied briefly at the Shanghai Art Academy. The young artist left China in 1949 before settling in Paris for a six year period, during which he met members of the avant-garde group COBRA. When Ting arrived in New York in 1958, Abstract Expressionism was in full swing and he quickly immersed himself in the buzzing American art scene, painting large gestural canvases and meeting artists who would come to have a great influence on his work, such as Sam Francis.

Following a recommendation by Francis, Ting worked at Tamarind Lithography Workshop as an Artist-fellow from September to October 1964, producing two lithographic suites, Fortune Kookie and Hollywood Honeymoon. It was during this period that Ting met Kenneth Tyler, Tamarind’s then Technical Director. Tyler recalls that Ting ‘showed me his poetry publications and gave me a verbal window to Paris printmaking. This was my first exposure to contemporary artists from NYC and Europe. I gleamed a great deal from all of them when we met outside of work.[2] A lasting friendship formed between the two, with Ting one of a number of artists who encouraged Tyler to open his own workshop.[3]

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Tamarind’s Technical Director Kenneth Tyler, with Artist-fellow Walasse Ting, in front of Ting’s lithographic suite, 1964. Image courtesy Tamarind Institute Collection, Center for Southwest Research, General Library, University of New Mexico.

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James Rosenquist and Walasse Ting at Wetterling Teo Gallery, Singapore, at the opening of ‘James Rosenquist: Paintings,’ 1994. Photo: Marabeth Cohen-Tyler

In memory of Ting, who sadly passed away in 2010, and inspired by the inclusion of One Cent Life in Roy Lichtenstein: Pop remix, Ken and Marabeth Tyler have kindly gifted three of his unique publications to the Tyler collection: My Shit and My Love (1961), Hot and Sour Soup (1969) and Fresh Air School (1972-73).

Within the pages of the latter – an exhibition catalogue of paintings by Ting, Francis and Mitchell – Ting condensed his remarkable life into the following autobiographical passage:

WALASSE TING by WALASSE TING

Born in Shanghai, China, 1929
4 years old paint in sidewalk. 10 years
old draw on wall. 20 years old left
China to traveling after reading the
book of I-Ching. In 1953 arrived in
Paris. Six months later meet Pierre
Alechinsky. Six months later meet
Asger Jorn. Six months later meet
Karel Appel; drink coffee with them
in Paris-Café. Working all kinds of job
to making a very simple living. Living
in a six inches window room. Paint
there, eat there. In 1963 arrived in
New York City. Six months later meet
Sam Francis. Six months later meet
Tom Wesselmann. Six months later
meet Claes Oldenburg. Eat hot & sour
soup with them in Chinese restaurant.
Not working any kinds job. Sleeping
all day living in a sixty feet window
loft. Eat there, paint there. Self-
taught. Individual. Not belong to any
group.


[1] Riva Castleman, A century of artists books, New York : Museum of Modern Art, 1994, p.40.

[2]  Ken Tyler, in correspondence with Jane Kinsman 21 September 2004.

[3] Ken Tyler, in correspondence with Jane Kinsman 21 September 2004.

Lichtenstein opening party

After weeks of anticipation, Roy Lichtenstein: Pop remix opened at the National Gallery of Australia with a BANG! (or should we say POP!?) on 19 July.

Ken Tyler opened the exhibition with a quirky speech channelling Walasse Ting’s poetry, while NGA Director Ron Radford cheekily drew our attention to the catalogue’s centrefold of the gorgeous Nude with yellow pillow.

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Vodka POPtails were flowing as guests jumped into a photo booth to create their own Lichtenstein mashups, with props such as feather boas and speech bubbles on hand to liven things up.

Tasty treats like WHAAM burgers, POW dogs and French fries kept everyone going, as did the overflowing Lolly Bar. Champagne was never short thanks to attentive waiters wearing brightly coloured wigs and fluoro Ray Bans.

ImageKenneth Tyler AO and Jane Kinsman, Senior Curator, International Prints, Drawings & Illustrated Books

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Positioned at the heart of the pulsating party was an original performance piece by Sydney-based artists Penelope Benton and Alexandra Clapham. Seeing Dots performers Penelope Benton, Jasmina Black and Marni Jackson sat solemnly at a Pop-inspired structure bejewelled with stacks of lollies, which they slowly turned this way and that over the course of the night. Intrigued guests couldn’t help but wonder as they observed the three ladies in canary yellow spotted dresses and sculptural wigs.

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For those not quite ready to go home, an after party held at Palace Electric Cinema in New Acton (courtesy of our sponsors the Molonglo Group) was a welcome addition to the night’s festivities…

‘Roy Lichtenstein: Pop remix’ media launch

Media and staff gathered last Friday at the National Gallery of Australia for the media preview of ‘Roy Lichtenstein: Pop remix’, which opened to the public on Saturday 20 July.

The excitement was palpable as Ken Tyler– who travelled to Canberra specially to open the show–recounted some of his unique experiences of working with Roy Lichtenstein. Thank you to both Ken and Marabeth Tyler for making the long trip from the U.S. to be here.

ImageMarabeth Cohen-Tyler, NGA Director Ron Radford AM, Kenneth Tyler AO

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Exhibition Curator Jaklyn Babington in conversation with ABC reporter Anna Morozow

ImageLouise Maher from 666 ABC Canberra interviews Ken Tyler

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Ken Tyler discusses a series close to his heart: the Entablatures of 1976.

Did you know?

  • Curator Jaklyn Babington spent over 12 months selecting the works that would form the Lichtenstein exhibition; considerations included the period of the artist’s career to be covered, followed by an in-depth analysis of each work and series.
  • The first room of the exhibition features a group of rare 1950s woodcut prints by Lichtenstein, displaying his transition from an expressionistic style into Pop Art. Originally forming part of the artist’s personal collection, these works have never before been displayed in Australia.
  • The works in the exhibition make reference to and remix no less than nine different art movements or styles: Impressionism, Pointillism, Surrealism, Abstract Expressionism, Op Art, Cubism, Art Deco, Classicism and Constructivism.
  • Roy Lichtenstein: Pop remix returns to the National Gallery of Australia after touring for over 12 months and covering 8,800 kilometres across three states as part of the Gallery’s Travelling Exhibitions Program.  A total of 21,084 people saw the exhibition at three venues: Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery, Mornington (VIC), QUT Art Museum, Brisbane (QLD) and Araluen Arts Centre, Alice Springs (NT).

Media coverage:

Remix and win!

Roy Lichtenstein: Pop remix

Roy Lichtenstein: Pop remix opens in Canberra at the National Gallery of Australia on July 19 with an invite-only party. To celebrate the NGA  in conjunction with exhibition sponsors the Molonglo Group are offering two tickets to the opening along with accommodation  at the Diamant Hotel to one lucky winner. For details on how to enter the competition visit our Facebook page: http://on.fb.me/18clK1w.

Roy Lichtenstein, Shipboard girl, 1965, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra

Frank Stella: Recent work

Wetterling Gallery, Stockholm

June 4 – July 5 2013

http://www.wetterlinggallery.com/

On June 4 the Wetterling Gallery in Stockholm opened a new exhibition of Frank Stella’s recent sculptures. The large brightly coloured works are a continuation of the Scarlatti Sonata Kilpatric series that Stella began in 2006, which explores the dynamic sense of movement achieved in music. You can read more about the sculptures and the exhibition here: http://www.wetterlinggallery.com/exhibitions/frank-stella-recent-work

Ken and Marabeth Tyler joined Stella in Stockholm for the opening of the exhibition, and took the images below to share with us:

Frank Stella at the opening of his exhibition in Stockholm

Frank Stella at the opening of his ‘Recent work’ exhibition in Stockholm on June 4

Per Inge and Ask Bjorlo with Ken Tyler

Ken Tyler with Per Inge and Ask Bjørlo at the opening of ‘Frank Stella: Recent work’ on June 4. Like Stella, Per Inge Bjørlo created prints with Tyler, which you can read about here: http://bit.ly/112M7PU

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