posters and prints

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Art History

Explore Hundreds of Thousands of Japanese Woodblock Prints in a Ukiyo-e Archive

March 27, 2023

Grace Ebert

A woodblock print of a woman combing her hair

Torii Kotondo, “Hair Combing” (1932)

From Katsushika Hokusai’s unmistakable views of Mount Fuji to contemporary landscapes by Asano Takeji, Ukiyo-e Search collects a wide variety of Japanese woodblock prints. Programmer John Resig built the online database back in 2012, and the archive now boasts more than 223,000 individual artworks from the early 18th century to today. Encompassing an array of styles, subject matter, and aesthetic impulses, the database is organized by artist and time period, and the system facilitates easy comparison of copies held at museums and institutions around the world

Find some of our favorite works in the database below, and head to the archive to dive into Ukiyo-e history. (via This Isn’t Happiness)

 

A woodblock print of a waterfall

Katsushika Hokusai, “Kirifuri Waterfall at Kurokami Mountain in Shimotsuke” (ca. 1832)

A woodblock print of a ship at sea

Yoshida Hiroshi, “Sailboats: Forenoon (Hansen, gozen)” from the series ‘Inland Sea (Seto Naikai shû)’ (1926)

A woodblock print of a person harvesting at twilight

Asano Takeji, “Twilight In The Village, Nara” (1953)

A woodblock print of two herons flying

Shoson Ohara, “White Herons and Willow” (1926)

A woodblock print of a bird among pink cherry blossoms

Bakufu Ohno, “Cherry Blossoms” (1950)

A woodblock print of two people on a boat at sea with a net and Mount Fuji in the background

Utagawa Kuniyoshi, “Mount Fuji on a Clear Day from the Sea off Tsukuda” (1843)

A woodblock print of a gleaming streetscape and temple in the rain

Tsuchiya Koitsu, “Sengaku Temple” (1933)

 

 

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Art

A Series of Meticulously Carved Panels Combine Layers of Color to Make Tugboat Printshop’s ‘River’ Woodcut

December 30, 2022

Kate Mothes

An intricate woodblock carving of a river running through a forested landscape.

All images © Tugboat Printshop

Woodland creatures peek out from behind tree trunks, and a stream of water rushes through a dense, forested landscape in Valerie Lueth’s latest woodcut for Tugboat Printshop (previously). “River” uses four intricately carved panels layered into a composition of overlapping, vivid color. Currently a work in progress and nearing completion, the detailed scene features intricate foliage and a smattering of stars throughout the sky and landscape.

To create the nocturnal setting, Lueth began by meticulously carving the surface of a “key block” using knives and gouging tools to create an overview of the entire composition. She then transferred the full scene to three additional panels in gray ink and filled in sections with marker to delineate which areas should be carved and where different pigments would be applied. Printed in succession, each block will provide a puzzle-like piece of the final print.

“River” is available for pre-order on the Tugboat Printshop website, and you can follow more updates on Instagram.

 

An intricate woodblock carving of a river running through a forested landscape.

Two process images of making an intricate woodblock carving of a river running through a forested landscape.

An intricate woodblock carving of a river running through a forested landscape.

 

An intricate woodblock carving of a river running through a forested landscape.

An intricate woodblock carving of a river running through a forested landscape.

An intricate woodblock carving of a river running through a forested landscape.

 

 



Design History Music

Diagrams of Turntables and Amps Chart the History of Jazz, Hip-Hop, and Rock and Roll

November 23, 2022

Grace Ebert

A screen printed diagram with musicians and band names in gold

All images © Dorothy, shared with permission

How do you visualize the history of hip-hop? Or jazz? Questions of origin and influence are common for artists, and the inventive team behind the U.K.-based design studio Dorothy (previously) goes gold as they painstakingly map out the history of music genre by genre. Plotted onto the circuit board of a guitar amp, the diagram of a 1950s phonograph, or that of a turntable, the latest editions in Dorothy’s Blueprint series chart the pioneers and greats who transformed rock and roll, jazz, and hip-hop in gilded screen-prints. The trio of metallic designs, plus three more devoted to alternative, electronic, and dance music, are available in the Dorothy shop.

 

A detail image of a screen printed diagram with musicians and band names in gold

A screen printed diagram with musicians and band names in gold

A detail image of a screen printed diagram with musicians and band names in gold

A screen printed diagram with musicians and band names in gold

A detail image of a screen printed diagram with musicians and band names in gold

 

 



Art Illustration

Minimal Lines Contour the Expressive Women in Luciano Cian’s Bold Portraits

May 27, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Luciano Cian, shared with permission

Rendered in sparse, sweeping lines and textured shapes, the women of Luciano Cian’s Tête portraits embody proximity and escape from formality. The digital series, short for tête-a-tête, is the latest in the Rio de Janeiro-based artist’s geometric body of work, which utilizes bright color palettes and minimal markings to define the contours of a cheek or shoulder. Each piece is an invitation, Cian shares, offering an intimate interaction with the anonymous subject.

The artist (previously) recently finished ten digital drawings and one acrylic painting (shown below) for Vozes Negras, A Força do Canto Feminino, or Black Voices, The Power of Feminine Singing, a musical theater production at Teatro Prudential on view through June 26. Originals and prints are available from Saatchi Art, and Cian shares an extensive archive of portraits and other works on Behance and Instagram.

 

From Vozes Negras, A Força do Canto Feminino, or Black Voices, acrylic on wood

 

 



Art Illustration Photography

The Art X Peace Print Sale Is Raising Money to Support People Fleeing Ukraine

March 14, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Stand with Ukraine” by Lele Saa. All images courtesy of Art X Peach, shared with permission

It’s estimated that more than 2.8 million refugees have left Ukraine since Russia’s invasion less than three weeks ago, and an ongoing print sale is raising funds to help those fleeing the country. Art X Peace is offering dozens of limited-edition works from artists around the world, including Paola Ferrarotti’s black-and-white photos, Masha Manapov’s whimsically rendered landscapes, and a classic sign of peace by Lele Saa. All profits are donated to World Central Kitchen, which is serving food to refugees across Europe, and the fundraiser is accepting submissions from artists interested in donating their work. For additional ways to support the people of Ukraine, check out It’s Nice That’s list of resources.

 

“Palm Springs” by Ward Roberts

“Nature Saves Us #2” by Paola Ferrarotti

Left: “COVID Still Life no. 2 – Rose” by Isabel Sierra Gómez de León. Right: “Gesso” by Masha Manapov

“Pureza” by Eva Mena

 

 



Design

Pyrotechnic Posters Ignite a Spectacular Performance of Fire, Flares, and Sparks

December 9, 2021

Grace Ebert

With their most recent project Affiches Artifices, French designers Marion Pinaffo and Raphaël Pluvinage might have sparked a new poster trend with a little extra flare. The duo created a dozen geometric motifs that, at first glance, appear as simple glittering arches and circular patterns. Once ignited by a match, though, the forms light up in a spectacular blend of incandescent bursts and multi-color flames.

To produce the controlled burns, Pinaffo and Pluvinage coated fire-resistant paper with distinct markings that when lit on one end, create a clear path for the flame to follow, and although the posters are left charred, the original design remains. “As ‘pyrotechnic ink’ doesn’t exist as such, we spend a lot of time in our workshop looking for the right way of mixing and printing such chemicals. After hundreds of failed attempts, we finally found the right way,” the duo told Creative Boom. “The visuals and sound effects are physically programmed on paper directly, depending on the length and path of gunpowder.”

Watch the short video below to see the incendiary creations in action, and explore more from Pinaffo and Pulvinage on Instagram.

 

 

 

A Colossal

Highlight

Artist Cat Enamel Pins