Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Wolf Kahn's monotypes

While still mucking about with the relief prints (and likely to do so for another few months), I had come across these monotypes by Wolf Kahn a while back.

Just last week I had ordered a couple of copper plates to use as plates for some more monotyping experiments. And following Casey's exercise of copying one of WK's paintings to learn more about the process, I think I will put this on my list of things to do.

But, first, take a look at this gallery here which has many of his monotypes on display. I very much like the way how the printing medium provides a different expression in his work.

Neptune Fine Art - Wolf Kahn Monotypes

And in relation to one of the earlier posts regarding naming conventions, Julia Ayres offers the following definition of monotypes and monoprints:

"Monoprint is a term art dealers often use interchangeably with monotype. While the dictionary does not differentiate between the two, in the academic art world, the term monotype is used for work developed on top of an unaltered plate, utilizing its flat surface, whilte monoprint refers to monotype work that also includes elements of another printmaking process such as etching, woodcut, lithography, silk screen and so on."
Julia Ayres, Monotype: mediums and methods for painterly printmaking, Watson-Guptill Publications: New York, 2001, p. 8)

... a short and somewhat lazy post to pick up my Wolf Kahn exploration. But a post nonetheless.

Does anyone know more about his monotypes? What inks does he use, e.g.? Do you know of any publications where these are available? Have seen any IRL?


vivien said...

acetate is good for monotypes - I've actually been doing these with students this week.

Simply paint onto the acetate with oil paints and then rub it down onto your paper. The smooth acetate makes this easy plus you can see what you are getting fairly well . Try all kinds of paper for different effects

If you have a press this works even better

you can also wet your paper with turps/white spirit to get a mistier, more watercolour effect or splash drops of it onto the paintd acetate to create interesting marks

Brian McGurgan said...

Some of these monotypes by Kahn (especially on the first two pages) look so much like his pastel works that I wonder if they aren't really mixed media where he's applying pastel over the monotype. Or maybe you can achieve the same sense of strokes and layered color with monotype that you can with pastel - I'm just not familiar enough with montoype to know the answer to that. I really like the monotype landscapes Degas did with pastel and these prints by Kahn are really very nice, too. I hadn't realized he worked in monotype, silkscreen, and with etching in addition to oils and pastel. Thanks for this insight Gesa!

Gesa said...

Brian, yes - I was wondering similar things: it almost looked as if they were drawn, doesn't it?

Maybe Casey or someone else knows more about these???

I will take my copper plates and oils to class tomorrow and try some drawing one them; but, thanks, Vivien, for reminding me: it may be part of the transfer method also that leads to the effect? E.g., I do have oil bars: if I draw with these and then transfer onto a turpsy paper? Good... that decide what needs to go in my bag for tomorrow.

I've so far been using glass plates, so I'm curious as to the copper plates, acetates sounds good too. I've ordered quite a range of different papers too, in addition to the ones I've already been using. - Vivien, I very much like your experiments on different papers, back and front etc. VERY nice!

Brian McGurgan said...

I was thinking of your post, Gesa, when I was visiting the Morgan Library & Museum here in New York Friday evening. They have an exhibit on display now of landscape oil studies and drawings that were given recently to the museum (called the Thaw collection after the donors). The highlight for me was a small landscape by Degas in pastel over monotype. I had never seen this particular one before in books, although I'm familiar with the series of pastel-over-monotype landscape works he did. They all have a wonderful atmospheric, abstracted quality to them. The one at the Morgan is especially nice and more intimate in focus than the others I've seen in books on Degas. It is of a small path going up a little hill with trees at the top. The pastel was applied heavily and the monotype was not easily visible to me except in the trees. The richness of the greens, yellows, and earth tones and the simple but striking composition made it a favorite for me. You can see traces of the experimentation Degas did - fixative brushed on over pastel, rubbing out areas and leaving strokes intact elsewhere.

Gesa said...

Brian, thanks so much for the photo of the print. Hm, yes - I can fully see why your so fascinated by it. I like the triangle of path and tree/bush line. And yes, there remains so little obvious of the monotype. Interesting. The ones I did recently I am still anxious to overwork - still need to become a bit more daring with the one-off prints, am worried I may spoil them ;)
I will look out for Degas' monotypes, it such an interesting medium in any case. And there are quite a few Degas' in Glasgow and Edinburgh to maybe go and look at some myself.
Thanks again!!!

Pujdak said...

Thanks so much for the link to Kahns mono prints - Ive been following his work foar about three years and wasnt even aware of that web site with those prints - I always love seeing work by him- he is a facinating person and artist...all the best Nichoals