Thursday, October 27, 2011

Warrington Colescott: Absurdly Delightful

It's great having friends who join things!
Tonight I was lucky enough to attend the member preview for “Warrington Colescott: Cabaret, Comedy & Satire” at the Grand Rapids Art Museum.

Now I had never heard of Warrington Colescott until a few weeks ago when I was touring ArtPrize and came across a poster at the GRAM advertising this upcoming exhibit. (in fact, I tried to vote for this banner). Being me, I always have a notebook, and fishing it out of the black hole that is my purse I made a note. Later this is what some of what Google told me:

Warrington Colescott (b. 1921 is Oakland, California) is an American artist best known for his satirical etchings. Warrington studied painting and drawing at University of California, Berkley and while he initially experiment primarily with screenprinting, by the '60s he was focused primarily on etchings with complex color. He has a cunning wit (even now, listening to him talk at 90 years old at the GRAM tonight!) and when you combine that his sharp imagination and enthralling artistic style, the result is fascinating.

I'm a fan of screen printing, etching and block printing in general. I like the process, I like the effect, I like the tactile-ness of it. I've dabbled with these “a bit”, but what Warrington has done is like nothing I've ever seen—it's on a whole different level.

His style, though varied, is very effective– the strokes are so unique and emotional, I never would have guessed they're etched. There's also an extraordinary element of collage, his use of color is brilliant and adventourous, and… he's funny!

There's a lot of history, politics and social commentary in these image. A lot of imitation of other artist in a surprisingly accurate manner, while still being entirely unique, and true to his medium. It's a lot of a fun and if you have a chance I highly recommend checking it out.

The exhibit runs from October 28th to January 15th.
Additionally there is a display of “Inside Jokes: the Tradition of Satire in Art” running in conjunction with Warrington's work. And if you're into printmaking there is a new exhibitions “Prophets, Priests and Kings: Woodcuts by Chris Stoffel Overvoorde” from November 18th to Jan 28th.

Thanks Anne for letting me be your + Guest this evening. Hopefully I can return the favor someday!

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