September 2–October 30, 2014
Atsuhiko Musashi: The Film of Painting
Musashi is artist in residence at Lafayette’s Experimental Printmaking Institute, EPI. An expert on contemporary printmaking, including non-toxic and photopolymer technologies, he, is professor of art at Kyoto Seika University, considered one of the top arts and humanities institutions in Japan, especially within the field of printmaking.
Working Notes (Concerning Printmaking)
For more than thirty years, my goal has been to express myself two-dimensionally, in both printmaking and painting. By going back and forth between the two disciplines, I have found my own way to create.
Nowadays, when we first encounter a painting that impresses us, the image may be a print reproduction or an online digital image. We are often disappointed, however, by the gap between the image of the painting we created mentally and the real painting we stand in front of in an art museum or gallery. One reason is that both printed reproduction and digital media convert the textures of a painting into a dot pattern and pixels by extracting its physicality and materialness. A viewer may mentally compensate for the resulting lack of mass by creating imaginary textures. Historically, printmaking was a technique used to reproduce a painting, but it is a unique method that minimizes the materialness of the painting as much as possible and resolves itself as a two-dimensional plane whose physical textures have been removed. To me, the print resembles a semitransparent film of the painting.
Working Notes (Concerning “Marks in Light”)
Part of the ice covering a pond’s water surface is broken, and I see into the water. Vision moves forward beneath the surface of the water while being interrupted at the surface by the ice. This kind of image is reflected in works referring to the materialness and transparency of the painting. I made this series of prints using photopolymer printing plates stiffened by ultraviolet light.
Constantin Brancusi’s “Endless Column” is a sculpture that stretches vertically to the sky, with rhombus forms stacked on top of one another. My series is inspired by Brancusi’s sculpture. I treated one of my paintings as a nucleus or a seed, then developed it in the image of multiplication or blossoming flowers.
In these printworks, I tried to move away from the brushstrokes and gestures of my accustomed style. First, I scanned several of my drawings to make elements of the image, then rotated, enlarged, or reduced their size. Next, I synthesized and composed them into one image that I printed using a large-format digital printer. Last, I printed two or three collagraph plates on top, using an etching press.