Sunday, September 21, 2008

Calligrafist Goes Dotty !


For those of you who are new to the blog, I don't consider myself to be an art critic and I certainly don't have thorough information on any of the artists presented here. This blog is about the fact that I'm interested in Painting that is about writing or language. In searching the Internet daily for these things, one encounters a lot of useful information and images which can be shared, saved and discussed here. This has been a fascinating and rewarding journey as I encounter artist after artist who have briefly visited this particular oeuvre or made a career of it.

Ulfert Wilke was interested in calligraphy and language and you'll find the sweetest, concise little bio of him at The Daily Palette; which is the source for the above image - "009", ink on paper . Six Hand Six also has a short bio that sheds even more light on this artist's train of thought and they have plenty of images here, to whet your appetite for more. The middle and bottom images are both from Six Hand Six.

I'm immediately drawn to works with words and letters, etc. and am completely curious as to the how and why the artist would pursue that genre.
But Ulfert just plain blows my mind. How did he get from calligraphy and abstraction to doing dots ?? On the right is a piece titled "Celeste" 1964, that I at first thought might be the work of Alan Maddox, because of the X's. It's a huge departure from his other works. And then you have the beautiful painting at the bottom titled "Ryoanji Black #5" 1964. This excites me tremendously. Why ? Because my oeuvre is language based painting and abstract pointillism (dots).
I wonder what the connection is between the calligraphy and the dots? You can see examples of his B&W calligraphic brush paintings here. TIn looking through images from different sites, there's really nothing that looks like an evolutionary middle ground. The closest thing might be his "Zero through Nine" lithograph series at Tamarind. For me this bottom painting is just a wonderful, simple thing of beauty.
Calligraphy and dots - who knew ??


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