The epic tale of the University of Wisconsin LaCrosse Printmaking Program. The Printmaking program is directed by Joel Elgin and features the odd collection of the many PrintFools who enroll, print and exist from semester to semester in the Shop of Tears.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Sigmund Abeles

Printfools... this week check out another printmaker who speaks for the victims:

Sigmund Abeles

"Gift of America Series #3: Vietnam, Helicopters with Kids" 1967,
etching & aquatint, 23 5/8 x 15 7/8, edition

Running Mother with Falling Baby or "Gift of America Series, Napalm #2"
Soft ground color etching,
1966. 23 5/8 x 15 1/2" (588 x 395 mm

Woman in Napalm or "Gift of America Series, #2 (Napalm)."
Soft ground color etching,
1966. 23 5/8 x 15 1/2" (588 x 395 mm)

"...Sigmund Abeles was in his New York City apartment on Sept. 11, 2001, when the planes hit the twin towers of the World Trade Center. The chaos that ensued was eerily familiar, reminiscent of a time during the Vietnam War nearly four decades earlier which the artist had depicted in a print. "The atmosphere in that print is very similar to the atmosphere in the city that day," says Abeles, who taught art at UNH for nearly two decades. Created from news photographs, "Gift of America" portrays the delivery of the deadly "gift" of napalm..."
And since you Baby Printmakers are working on line etch and aquatint check out how Sigmund Abeles uses these new tricks of yours to perfection.

Hey all Printmakers, speaking of perfection - go visit the link below

Hey, go here as well:

Remember this is the week we prepare for Mike Houston.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

PrintFools Valentines Day is this Wed!!!

PrintFools Valentines Day is this Wed!!!
Precious valentines will be presented, epic poems will be read, massive amounts of treats will be consumed, tears (of joy or pain?) will certainly flow and of course much more will be learned. 

Venus Whipping Cupid with Roses, early 17th century
Giovanni Luigi Valesio (Italian, 1583?–1633)
7 15/16 x 5 1/4 in. (20.2 x 13.4 cm

Poor Venus's tries to discipline bad baby Cupid, with no help from a satyr (the embodiment of lust). In Italian the inscription reads: love is not so easily chastised. 


Psyche mit der Lampe, by Max Klinger

The love affair between Cupid and Psyche is one of the best known classical myths, recounted in the Latin novel The Golden Ass by Apuleius. Cupid, lover of the mortal Psyche, forbids her to cast eyes upon him and visits her only at night. Disobeying him, Psyche holds a light over his sleeping body, for which she is punished by Aphrodite.
Beware PrintFools, the week will demand the learning of new skills and some sort of balance of head and heart. 
Here is an early valentine for you all... a little video made by Thomas Edison, watch carefully, because if you perform the dance best...  you might win.... Baby, Ado, or Big Kid of the Day!

Sunday, February 04, 2018

Goya's Disasters of War

Francisco de Goya y Lucientes
Spanish, 1746-1828

"Disasters of War"

  Sad forebodings of what is going to happen... Plate 1

 They Are Like Wild Beasts...Plate 5

 Ravages of war... Plate 30

- Ravages of war

Go to Grinnell to see them all :

Also read those essays, written by some smart student types from a very cool school.

Here's an example that builds on our question from last week...

"Despite titles of prints like I saw it through which the artist seems to claim his role as viewer and documenter, it remains unclear whether Goya actually witnessed the events he depicts or used his artistic skills to invent them.  The degree to which Goya’s invented realities document specific incidents that actually happened, or not, is immaterial, for there is no doubt that events like those Goya depicts occurred; what matters, rather, is how Goya forces the viewer into the position of witness. "
 Audrey Coffield & Megan Drechsel



Friday, January 26, 2018

Bellows' "War Series"


 We continue our search to find new printmaking guides who take us to the "victims".

Bellows' "War Series"

Barricade, 1918

George Wesley Bellows

American, 1882-1925

Lithograph on cream Japanese paper, laid down on cream wove paper

434 x 742 mm (image); 479 x 787 mm (primary support); 611 x 814 mm (secondary support)

Gift of William T. Cresmer, 1950.1651

"In this scene, American realist painter George Bellows constructed a terrifying scenario of German World War I forces using naked civilians as human shields. Though he never saw war firsthand, Bellows’s engagement with the subject grew from documentary reports on the atrocities reported in the American press. Reportedly, this image and the one that accompanies it, Bacchanale, were both based on eyewitness accounts from the 1915 Bryce Report, which recorded hundreds of stories of the German invasion of Belgium in August 1914. The testimonies published in the Bryce Report’s 320-page Appendix A included some sensationalist accounts of mutilations and rapes for which there is no other evidence. The series War, which chronicled these crimes, consisted of 5 oil paintings, 20 lithographic prints, and more than 30 related drawings. In this image, the sharp Picklehauben helmets, heavy uniforms, and gleaming bayonet contrast with the soft vulnerability of exposed human flesh. The exaggeratedly large arms and hands of the victims, which are raised to the sky, call attention to their subjugation and acquiescence."

Murder of Edith Cavell
(1918) Lithograph mounted on heavy weight paper Print
20-1/8 x 26 inches
51.2 x 66 cm.
Image: 18-3/4 x 24-3

British Red Cross nurse Edith Cavell was found guilty of helping wounded Allied soldiers to escape and was executed by firing squad October 12, 1915, despite international protest.

Go to Harvard to Look at Bellows' "War Series":

Look at his source, "The Bryce Report":

 As you look, read and think ask yourself if Bellow's distance from the atrocity makes his prints less valid?

Friday, January 19, 2018

Return to WAR Printfools!

Somehow the world hasn't healed itself while we were on break fools.

We can't ignore it and so we must devour it, choke and be sick... and then we must make prints about it, recalling that Picasso said, "art is is not made to decorate apartments. It's an offensive and defensive weapon against the enemy."

This semester we continue to explore the work of printmakers who used the poison of the world around them to make prints steeped in artistic social responsibility.

George Grosz

American, born Germany. 1893–1959

“It was my first encounter with the works of the German artist George Grosz, when I was in my twenties, which showed me that drawing need not just be a space-filler in a newspaper: in the hands of an honest man, drawing could be a weapon against evil….Look at [his drawings] and you know the world is sick. You may say that he was sick too — but it is a common mistake to believe that sick drawings indicate a sick mind, rather than a reflective indictment of society. His drawings scream indelibly of human depravity; they are an eloquently barbaric response to life and death, right through the First World War and into the wild, helpless excesses of 1920s Berlin, which rotted away the lives of all those caught up in its suicidal glee.”

—Ralph Steadman

George Grosz, German (1893-1959)

Die Zivilisation Marschiert (Civilization Marches On), from the portfolio of 64 prints

entitled "Interregnum,” 1936


And for this week:

 "The Queen of Badass"

by Mike Houston

18" x 24" woodcut/letterpress
on Heavyweight White Paper


Woodcutting printmaker Bridget Henry demonstrates:
The Reduction Woodcut:

 Baby Printmakers!

 PIOTR SZUREK, Poland,  "SELF PORTRAIT", 65x50cm

 watch this video to prepare for Mike!
Michael Houston

“Mistakes Were Made.”

"I’d like to collaborate with you and your students on an animated short (approx. 60-sec) tentatively called “Mistakes Were Made.”

The goal is to create a fun, hopefully Instagrammable collaborative drawing-based animation that comments on the disjointed relationship technology creates between the real and digital worlds, mostly made out of...cardboard. And involving poop emoji. "

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Alina Szapocznikow

This week you get to meet ...
Alina Szapocznikow

Alina was a sculptor but thankfully I found a few prints so that she could be introduced to you on this printmaking blog. 

Read every word you can about her - look at every work she made, even those that aren't prints. You wont be sorry!

Alina Szapocznikow

“During the German occupation, she spent the years 1940-1942 with her mother in the Pabianice ghetto (her father died in 1938). From there she was transferred to the Łódź ghetto, and then - via Auschwitz - to the camps of Bergen-Belsen and Teresienstadt in Czechoslovakia. After the war she decided to study sculpture.”

"Szapocznikow (pronounced shuh-POTCH-ni-koff) was born in 1926 to a family of non-practising Jews and as a teenager was interned in the ghetto of Łódź, then briefly sent to Auschwitz before spending nearly a year in Bergen-Belsen. Separated from her family, she made her way to Prague after the war – and was shocked to discover that her mother had also survived. After studies in Prague and Paris, she was recalled to the new People's Republic of Poland and began making sculptures in a socialist realist style."




Sunday, November 05, 2017

Mr. Maurico Lasansky's Nazi Drawings

We called him Mr. Lasansky.

As you know, because I talk alot about him, he is well known for his multi plate intaglios. But, he might be best known for his drawing series, "The Nazi Drawings."

The Nazi Drawings examine the brutality of Nazi Germany. We are looking at six years work, 30 30 life sized drawings (and one tryptich) using simple pencil on paper. 

 Go click that link below to see them all:

 And to see more keep going...

Saturday, October 28, 2017

More Otto Dix

It is Halloween Week PrintFools!

Nothing more frightening then Otto Dix’s war images. I’ve selected a few that depict victims who were not on the battlefield. Go to this link for a more complete set of lithos and intaglios:

The Madwoman of Sainte-Marie-à-Py
Die Irrsinnige von Sainte-Marie-à-Py

House Destroyed by Aerial Bombs (Tournai)
Durch Fliegerbomben zerstörtes Haus (Tournai)

Don't forget that Monday of Halloween Week is the day PrintFools arrive fully costumed, make prints and eat candy until you projectile vomit!

Saturday, October 14, 2017


We have looked at printmakers who attempted to change politics. Beware of politics that change printmakers.

Lets go back to the 1937 Entartete Kunst ("Degenerate Art") exhibition in Munich.

Look at Emile Nolde. 27 of his works were included.

The Nazis issued a Malverbot (look that up for this week’s class)

But wait – read this...

“What is interesting about Nolde's biography is that the painter, although persecuted by the Nazis and even deprived of his livlihood as an artist, was loyal to the Nazi cause to the bitter end.  His troubles, he claimed were based on a "misunderstanding" and Hitler was simply misled by those around him in rejecting Nolde's art.”

 Read more:

Frau N (Frau Ada Nolde)



23.1 x 18.4 cm Signed


etching ; 1911 ; 27 x 30 cm ; 10 2/3 x 11 3/4 "

Signed and titled

Der Tod als Tänzerin

etching ; 1918 ; 21 x 27 cm ; 8 1/4 x 10 2/3 "

Junger Fürst und Tänzerinnen

etching ; 1918 ; 26 x 22 cm ; 10 1/4 x 8 2/3 "

Candle Dancers (Kerzentänzerinnen) (1917)


composition: 12 x 9 1/4" (30.5 x 23.5 cm);

Nolde painted hundreds of small watercolors in the seclusion of his own home in Seebll. He gave most of them to friends to protect himself and his art from Gestapo raids. These small paintings were ''unpainted'' in the sense that they did not officially exist and were not supposed to exist.

Nolde, Animal and Woman. 1931-1935

Saturday, October 07, 2017

Friday, September 29, 2017

Jeanne Mammen

"I have always wanted to be just a pair of eyes, walking through the world unseen, only to be able to see others. Unfortunately one was seen." (Jeanne Mammen)

A new hero for you.

Jeanne Mammen (1890-1976), produced prints, drawings, paintings  and graphic illustrations in Germany in the 1920s and 1930.

 1930, Nutten, Lithograph. Jeanne Mammen

Her prints and illustrations particularly offended the Nazis.

‘”For lesbian and other feminist magazines published in the free environment of 1920s Berlin, Jeanne Mammen created numerous illustrations of the women’s club “scene,” which prominently featured lesbian sex workers.” –

Beim Schminken (To Put One 1930-32
Lithograph printed in light pink and green
40.9 x 30.8cm

“In the spring of 1933, the Nazi press labeled Mammen’s artwork as “Jewish” and banned publication of her series of eight lithographs illustrating Peter Louys’ “Les Chansons de Bilitis,” an exploration of lesbian love.”

Die Wahl (The Choice) 1930-32
lithograph printed in light green and pink
44.4 x 34.6cm

 Go here for more:

And get the popcorn to soak up the Oktoberfest beer in your sad sore bellies, cause I’ve found a video filled with her images just for you:

Saturday, September 23, 2017

The “Degenerate Art” exhibition!

PrintFools – off you go to witness the The “Degenerate Art” exhibition!

To “improve” national culture in Germany Hitler introduced a new cultural program at the 6th Nazi Party Congress, that rejected avant-garde art.

Hitler, Goebbels and Ziegler's denounced rejected avant-garde, modern art as "the monstrous offspring of insanity, impudence, ineptitude, and sheer degeneracy."

They authorized a commission to steal modern, degenerate or subversive art from museums and art collections throughout the Reich.

To mock the stolen art, some was exhibited in the “Degenerate Art” exhibition.

Adolf Hitler and Adolf Ziegler inspect the installation by Willrich and Hansen of the Degenerate Art Exhibition in Munich, 1937

The exhibition displayed 730 pictures, sculpture, graphic works and books by 112 German artists from 32 German museums. It opened in Munich on July 19, 1937, and lasted until November 30, after which it went on a two-year tour of eleven German and Austrian cities.

Works had been selected for display in accordance with the following principles:

  1. Deliberate distortion of nature (E.L. Kirchner, O. Dix, W. Morgner),
  2. Derision of religion (E. Nolde, P. Klee),
  3. Bolshevist and anarchist implications (G. Grosz),
  4. Political indoctrination, including propaganda of Marxism and anti-war sabotage (J. Heartfield, O. Dix),
  5. Moral depravity and interest in prostitution under the guise of social criticism (O. Dix, E.L. Kirchner),
  6. Loss of national (racial) consciousness and interest in the exotics of primitive peoples (Die Brücke artists),
  7. Idiots, morons and paralytics presented as the human ideal (O. Kokoschka, Die Brücke artists),
  8. The desire to depict only Jewish nature (L. Meidner, O. Freundlich),
  9. Absence of common sense due to sickly imagination (J. Molzahn, W. Baumeister, K. Schwitters).

Go here for more:

This week we meet that “deliberate distorter of nature”, Otto Dix:

Wounded soldier - Autumn 1916, Bapaume
Otto Dix
Der Krieg; #6

Night-time encounter with a madman
Otto Dix
Der Krieg; #22

Go here for much more:

 And BabyPrintmakers - meet Jacques Callot:

Jacques Callot

French, 1592-1635
Judith with the Head of Holofernes, n.d. Drypoint

Jacques Callot
French, 1592-1635
The Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian, n.d.

Jacques Callot
(French, 1592-1635) The Resurrection of Lazarus, from The New Testament, 1635 Etching 

 check this link out: