The Art of Saying Thank You

May 21, 2011 § Leave a comment

Handmade cards by Bigs and Littles

May 21, 2011

The Gemini workshop opened its doors on a Saturday afternoon to nine “Littles” from Big Brothers Big Sisters, an agency that matches mentors with at-risk youth in Los Angeles.  The Littles, ranging from 9 to 14 years old and accompanied by their Big Brother or Big Sister, learned to make screenprints and were taught creative ways of expressing appreciation during a workshop titled “The Art of Saying Thank You.”  The workshop was led by Joni (who has been a BBBS Board member since 1995), Gemini Master Printer Jim Reid and Mindy L. Zasloff, President of the human resources consulting firm, People Skills Are An Art.

The Bigs and Littles took a quick tour of the workshop before getting down to business with Jim Reid in the screenprinting shop.  As each person stepped up to the press to pull a couple impression from a screen, the group cheerfully applauded each successful print pulled.  Mindy then guided the Bigs and Littles through the process of writing a thoughtful note expressing thanks or what it means to have been matched.  Once the screenprints were cut down to the size of a folded note-card, the Bigs and Littles embellished them with watercoloring, rubber-stamped images, bits of colored construction paper and colorful stickers.  The day was a resounding success  –  the matches had an exceptionally fun day, and the cards produced will be used for expressing gratitude to the agency’s major donors.


IPCNY Spring Benefit, 2011

May 19, 2011 § Leave a comment

From left to right: Terry Winters, Bill Goldston, and Jordan Schnitzer

May 19, 2011

On Thursday, our gallery staff members Chris and Jae-Min attended the International Print Center New York’s (IPCNY) 2011 Spring Benefit.

The evening began with a pre-reception event at the IPCNY’s gallery space to view their current exhibition, Artists Collect: Prints from the Collection of Sol LeWitt, Kiki Smith, Philip Taaffe, Richard Tuttle, and was followed by cocktails and dinner at Cedar Lake. This year, the IPCNY honored artist Terry Winters, ULAE publisher Bill Goldston, and collector Jordan Schnitzer for their enormous contributions and achievements in the print world.  It was a cheerful and celebratory evening with Christopher Gaillard as Master of Ceremonies, and Lisa Phillips, Christophe Cherix, and Joseph Goddu as presenters.  There was also no shortage of notable attendees such as artist Vija Celmins, Chelsea gallerists Larry Shopmaker and Betsy Senior, Jim Kempner and Dru Arstark, and Mary Ryan, plus respected art advisors Janice Oresman and Sharon Coplan Hurowitz, and IFPDA Executive Director, Michele Senecal.

The first and only non-profit institution devoted solely to the exhibition and understanding of fine art prints, we congratulate the IPCNY on their 10th anniversary!


Doctor Baldessari, I presume!

May 14, 2011 § Leave a comment

John Baldessari receiving honorary Doctorate at CCA

May 14, 2011

On a lovely Saturday afternoon in San Francisco, John Baldessari received an honorary Doctorate from the California College of the Arts.  Along with fellow Doctoral recipient Betty Reid Soskin, Baldessari was applauded by the hundreds in attendance at the graduation ceremony held at the Concourse Exhibition Center near the CCA San Francisco campus.  Founded in 1907, CCA is one of the most respected schools teaching fine art, architecture, design and arts management to undergraduate and graduate students.  Prior notable recipients of honorary Doctorates at CCA include Gemini artists Josef Albers, Frank Gehry, Ann Hamilton, Isamu Noguchi, Claes Oldenburg, Ed Ruscha, Richard Serra, Wayne Thiebaud, James Turrell and Richard Tuttle

Flying from New York on the third leg of our 10-day trip that had begun in Chicago, Sidney and I landed in time to dine on Friday night with John and gallerists Gretchen and John Berggruen.  At Saturday’s ceremonies, CCA President Stephen Beal spoke of Baldessari’s considerable influence on students, particularly those at CCA, and of Baldessari’s years of dedication to the teaching and making of art.  John, with his typical humility and humor, gave simple words of advice to the graduating students, slyly referencing his own many years of hard work and slowly-gained, eventual success.  In closing, he quoted the words of wisdom imparted by an old Japanese surfer he once met in Hawaii:  “Paddle, paddle, paddle.  Some day big wave come.”

Madison Avenue Gallery Walk

May 7, 2011 § Leave a comment

May 7, 2011

On May 7, 2011, the gallery participated in the 4th Annual Madison Avenue Gallery Walk. With the sun shining and more than 30 prestigious art and antique galleries on Madison Avenue between 57th and 86th Streets coming together to host a day-long series of Art Talks, it was the perfect day to be out visiting galleries. For the event, our Gallery Director Chris Santa Maria hosted two talks, during which he discussed the history of the Gemini G.E.L. workshop as well as an overview of our gallery’s “New and Recent Publications” exhibition.

The Gallery Walk benefits arts education in New York City’s public schools through The Fund for Public Schools, a nonprofit organization Chaired by NYC Schools Chancellor Joel Klein and Vice Chaired by Caroline Kennedy and Mortimer Zuckerman. One notable attendee was Brian Leong, an 11-year old student and budding artist from Brooklyn, whose self-portrait collage was selected to be viewed at the gallery.

Rauschenberg’s Stoned Moon Series in Chicago

May 5, 2011 § Leave a comment

Collector Stephen Dull with 3 prints from his complete "Stoned Moon" series

May 5, 2011

Sidney and I have flown to Chicago for one quick evening to attend the opening of Robert Rauschenberg Stoned Moon Series at the Joel Oppenheimer gallery. For the first time since its publication by Gemini in 1969, and for only three short days this weekend, the Stoned Moon Series – comprised of thirty-three extraordinary lithographs – is being presented in its entirety.

The Stoned Moon Series is arguably one of Rauschenberg’s largest and most beautiful bodies of work. In July 1969, Rauschenberg was invited to visit the Kennedy Space Center in Florida to observe the launching of the Apollo 11 spacecraft which eventually landed on the moon. From NASA, Rauschenberg requested and received photographs which became the foundation of the imagery in the series. Collaborating with the Gemini workshop in a marathon 2-month period, Rauschenberg added considerable rubbings and tusche-painted additions to the photoplates.

The exhibition has been made possible by Stephen Dull, an executive with the VF Corporation who has passionately assembled an in-depth collection of the very best American prints. Stephen approached Joel Oppenheimer, a Chicagoland gallerist best known for his authorative knowledge of Audubon prints, to conserve and frame the series. The result of their collaboration has resulted in a magical and memorable exhibition, one that allowed Sidney and I to fully comprehend the remarkable breadth and complexity of this series. Rick Axsom, Curator of Collections at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art and Rauschenberg authority, spoke briefly to the nearly 100 guests in attendance at the reception this evening, and we very much felt Bob’s presence in the room. After Rick’s remarks, we raised a glass of Bob’s favorite beverage, Jack Daniels, and toasted the man and this remarkable body of work.

Joel Shapiro shares views on David Smith

April 27, 2011 § Leave a comment

Joel Shapiro leading walk-through of David Smith exhibition at LACMA

April 26, 2011

Joel Shapiro spoke to an intimate gathering of high-level LACMA supporters on Tuesday evening, walking them through the David Smith sculpture exhibit on view at the LACMA Resnick Pavilion through July 24.  He spoke eloquently and with considerable animation about the importance of Smith’s work in the history of American sculpture, and his own relationship to Smith’s work.  He kept the audience fascinated with his discussion of numerous creative associations between Smith and fellow sculptors including Giacometti, Calder and other.  After the walk-through, a small group of collectors were invited to dine at Playa, the hot new restaurant by John Sedlar who is known for his innovative Mexican cooking.  Crafting a special menu for the evening, Chef Sedlar greeted the diners, which included LACMA Director Michael Govan and his wife, fashion PR powerhouse Katherine Ross, Senior Curator Stephanie Barron, Gemini client and celebrity interior designer Rose Tarlow, and several LACMA trustees and patrons.  Joel is in Los Angeles, collaborating with Gemini on new prints to follow upon his highly successful 2009 series Boat, Bird, Mother and Child.

Hot off the Gemini Press

April 22, 2011 § Leave a comment

April 22, 2011

We don’t always stop the presses to celebrate the artist collaborations at the Gemini workshop, except for the occasional Baskin Robbins ice cream cake from our friend Abel Eljam, because the printers hardly skip a beat when one artist departs, furiously working to print an edition before another artist arrives.  For example, by the end of this month Gemini will have hosted four out of town artists this spring – James Rosenquist, Sophie Calle, Daniel Buren and Joel Shapiro.

Gemini GEL at Joni Moisant Weyl is proud to display new and recent Gemini publications by John Baldessari, Jonathan Borofsky, Ann Hamilton and Richard Serra.   Each artist’s project at Gemini could not be more different – from lithography and screenprinting to etching to constructions that combine printmaking with fabric and bamboo.  These four artists are a perfect representation of the Gemini ‘can-do’ spirit and the diverse specialties of our printing staff.

John Baldessari’s Nose/Silhouette series began with a party!  The Gemini workshop printed a photographed nose on fields of color which were made into masks and used as place settings for a dinner at Wolfgang Puck’s restaurant Cut.  The dinner followed the opening of Baldessari’s spectacular exhibition at LACMA, Pure Beauty, and guests, along with the artist, had great fun posing with the masks.  Gemini and the artist resolved to make the images into a series of editioned prints.

John Baldessari with Joni Weyl and Sidney Felsen at Wolfgang Puck’s restaurant Cut, 2010.

Jonathan Borofsky visited the Gemini workshop back in 2008, working with text on Mylar.  In 2010 his lithograph God is a Feeling was finally resolved, as was a screenprint of words from his mother:

“Several days before my mother died, I was sitting at her bedside – just talking about things.  At one point I casually asked her if she had any words she wanted to leave behind.  Without taking any time to think about it, she answered ‘Be Happy, Do the Best You Can, Be Good and Kind’.”   – Borofsky

(Photograph by Sidney B. Felsen © 2010)

Ann Hamilton made a batch of party hats in honor of Sidney Felsen’s 85th birthday in September of 2009.  These small lithographs with collaged fabric to be used as string were just the beginning of her juxtaposition of printmaking and fabric.  The sheets of lithography became larger and the process of collaging fabric more complex as ciliary was formed.

(Photograph by Sidney B. Felsen © 2010)

Each ciliary begins with lithography on eight sheets of a creamy Japanese paper, Mitsumata.  Added to the paper panels is a strip of fabric, adhered to one edge.  A narrow accordion fold is applied, and bamboo ribs and hardwood dowels reinforce the folds on the verso.

(Photograph by Sidney B. Felsen  © 2010)

(Photograph by Chris Santa Maria)

It is impossible to visit the Gemini workshop without noticing the presence of Richard Serra.  Serra has tirelessly pushed the boundaries of printmaking beyond the scale even the Gemini printers might have thought possible, conveying the weight and monumentality of his celebrated sculptural works onto a thin sheet of paper.  In recent years Serra’s etching have grown to upwards of 85 inches, but these latest collaborations present a classic Serra study of the curve on an intimate scale.  The series of 13 Junction prints, each measuring 16 x 18 inches, render various torque ellipse forms in concentrated, untidy etchings.

Printer Isaac Osher editioning Serra Junction #2 at Gemini workshop

(Photographs by Sidney B. Felsen © 2011)