TENDERNESS AND THORNS
September 1 – September 27, 2015
Hakusasonso Hashimoto Kansetsu Garden and Museum
I was commissioned to create a large scale installation piece (above), Camellias and Cacti, painted on transparent fabric, measuring 12’x 42′, which will hang freely in the middle of Kansetsu’s Atelier. It will be exhibited, along with a selection of five major works on canvas. I will be at the opening on September 9, the birthday of Kansetsu. The show continues through September 27. If you are in Kyoto, please join me. The Kansetsu Garden and Museum are not to be missed.
Hashimoto Kansetsu (1883 – 1945) was a Kyoto-born artist who was heavily influenced by Chinese art and culture. His home and gardens in a quiet, old corner of Kyoto, have been turned into a museum and the surroundings provide a tasteful and inspiring backdrop for my work.
It is always a pleasant treat to receive invitation proofs from Japan:
Summer greetings to all. This June, I was invited by the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, MA to create a wood block print to benefit the center. I worked with master printer Andrew Mockler from Jungle Press Editions. Provincetown, for a long time, has been an amazing nexus of creative personalities. I was staying in the barn where Helen Frankenthaler and Robert Motherwell painted in the 1940s. Eugene O’Neil‘s early plays were produced by the Provincetown Players. And Hans Hofmann taught at his famous summer art school there for many summers. Amid all this rich history, a group of artists, mostly women, created a unique form of color wood cut prints in Provincetown. My favorite of these artists was Blanche Lazzell (1878-1956). She was a great artist not widely known outside the world of printmaking and she was also a true bohemian spirit.
Andrew and I researched white line woodcuts, and he devised a contemporary technique to replicate them using one wood block, inked with various colors, run only once through the press. Consistent with my current studio explorations, I selected for the image a single aloe plant, vigorous and upstanding, succulent but armored. Over our work time there, we created the block and proofed many color variants utilizing the same single woodblock, of which these are two of our favorites. Once editioned, the prints will be available from junglepress.com.
Right: Blanche Lazelle, “Provincetown Studios,” white line color wood cut, 1933. Image courtesy: TheOldPrintShop.com
Dorothy Browdy Kushner, Red, casein on board, 40×30″, mid 60s.
Dorothy Browdy Kushner was a committed and skilled California modernist painter. She was my first teacher, critic and supporter. For the last year, I have assembled images of her work and biographical text into a website on her work. I hope that this will serve to introduce her and her diverse works to those interested in what women were painting in an earlier era. I am convinced that there are many more stories like hers out there that are owed their due–women who painted from their hearts with gusto and intelligence, whose work is worth reassessment and enjoyment. I invite you to peruse and enjoy Dorothy’s artwork (and life) online. Your feedback and thoughts are welcome.
Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers, especially those whose creative work blended seamlessly with their commitments to motherhood to serve as an inspiration to those of us who have followed them.
Robert Kushner: Paintings & Collages
May 14 through June 20, 2015
Opening Thursday, May 14, 6-8pm
2012 Peden Street
Houston, Texas 77019