Toru Sugita, On My Balcony I
Recommended by Paige (Collections Manager):
"Toru Sugita is a California-based Japanese artist and teacher who creates a variety of landscape and city scene prints. He has spent years thinking about changing light and is an expert at capturing each specific type of light that is unique to a place and a moment. On My Balcony I is a beautiful, simple wood engraving that captures a very individual scene: "my" balcony. It isn't lavish or curated; it isn't full of lush plants or exciting people - it's simple and sincere. The intimate process of carving a wood block is felt in this small piece. I feel the block's texture and the quiet moments that the artist spent with it. Now that we often think about curating images of our lives to only present the very best and most exciting aspects of ourselves, I am fascinated by Sugita's emphasis on the ordinary."
Georges Rouault, Plate 13. Il serait si doux d'aimer (To love would be so sweet)
Recommended by Nikki (Fine Print Photographer & Content Publisher):
"Georges Rouault was commissioned to make this piece as a part of the Miserere (Misery) Series in 1916 (during WWI). During times of collective or individual trauma, people have always turned to artists to give themselves moments of peace, escape, or distraction. Visual arts, books, netflix, memes, and music are all things we are using today to deal with the pandemic and our own individual struggles. This etching reminds its viewers of the importance of artists and their creativity. Rouault’s work, ‘il serait si doux d’aimer’ or ‘to love would be so sweet’ gives just as much sweetness and comfort today as it did when it was published in 1948. Humans need connection and love. Even in gray, Rouault’s blend of fauvism and expressionism in this image of parent and child puts a small, but strong light on this pocket of love amongst all the misery that surrounds it."
Mikio Watanabe, En douceur
Recommended by Rebecca (Gallery Manager):
"Mikio Watanabe beautifully illustrates each being that he handles. From dragonflies to cranes to women, they are all exquisitely captured. En douceur is an example of Watanabe's excellent nudes. I love the way that he visually describes the softness of the nude's skin. Her hand gently caresses her arm and her thumb presses in ever so slightly. This nude is quiet and restful, warm and comforting. It carries the calm energy that the title describes: gently. The pose and the person are treated with such care that this mezzotint relaxes me."
Charles Spitzack, Yucca Plant
Recommended by Emma (Marketing & Communications Manager):
"I'm delighted and pleasantly surprised by how lasting an impression this graphic yucca print has left on me since first seeing it. The vertical format, rich black gradient, and unexpected use of negative space are simple and satisfying. There's nothing to overthink and everything to enjoy. It's incredibly charming how Spitzack has taken an ordinary subject and made such striking imagery with it."
George Tooker, Jr., Voice
Recommended by Sam (Owner & Director):
"George Tooker's Voice is an original lithograph published by Editions Press in San Francisco. The artist is best known for his meticulous egg tempera paintings but Voice was one of a handful of lithographs Tooker produced later in his career. The drawing is sure and reflects his respect for Paul Cadmus, Reginald Marsh, Kenneth Hayes Miller and others. Not content being labeled a 'magic realist,' he did share some of that group's characteristics with his evocative and often intimate subject constructs."