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.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Bailiwick: Printmakers expose the unjust legal world

What a day Tuesday will be Printfools!
Judge Jelliot Levine and Lawyer Dave Solie will speak in the Shop of Tears (cleverly I have invited them to speak of justice, but the reality is that they will be forced to defend the horrible actions of their professions).

They will be made to reveal why/how they can support the: Free Judges of the Terre-Rouge, Council of Ten of Venice, Secret Tribunals etc.


Printmakers have long been enemies of unjust legal types. Breeze through the images below as examples of how we have captured the evil do'ers and their evil deeds.

(Click the title post for more - sorry, it wont work - paste this:

http://www.gutenberg.org/dirs/1/0/9/4/10940/10940-h/10940-h.htm#ch10

and see if it works)







31 comments:

Maddy Grimmer said...

The use of line is almost overwhelming! I can't believe that the artist could make so many lines, i think i would go crazy. The wood carvings on the main page were really good, but not exactly what i enjoy looking at. I'm not a huge fan of the whole torture part of the Renaissance age but that's okay.

The link to the book of Manners, Customs, and Dress during the Middle Ages by Paul Lacroix has even more stunning images and the artists clearly communicate the textures and overall feelings of the people and their clothing, I can even interpret their attitudes through the images which is awesome. I really liked Louis Xll Leaving Alexandria on the 24th of April 1507 by Jean Marot, it has such a vast variety of grays. From the really dark black of the horse, to the white of his feathers and every gray in between. It says it was a Chromolithograph, what exactly does that mean?

As far as having the Judges come i'm not really sure what to expect so it's kindof like i'm going to be wandering into a world of unknown on tuesday..hmm.

zoe said...

god... capital punishment is so disgusting to me, Its such a vengeful practice, and one that is often taken without justification -- there are so many times when people are convicted of crimes they did not commit. How can we justify capital punishment when we know we sometimes wrongly use it? Its pretty terrible to think about how many innocent people must have died during the middle ages just because people weren't given as much say in things.
The bottom print : The gibblet of Montifcon (sp) is my favorite of the ones posted on the blog. I really like how dark it is -- seems fitting for the subject matte, and i also like how the bodies hanging from the structure are in silouette, it makes it feel more eerie to me. I also like the line/value going on. was the sky value done with that contraption BrassAss used that one time?? i forget what its called,,,, mesotint??

Jessalyn said...

We actually talked about capital punishment in the hated Heckman's class too. What are we teaching our children with it? If someone does something horrific then do it back to them and you will be even. An eye for an eye. But as Martin Luther King Jr. said An eye for an eye leaves everyone blind. Why must we stoop to become murderers only punish other murderers. We are only becoming one them...Alright the rant is done.
:-) Its a very controversial topic.

I agree with Maddy. The fact that everything is done only with line is amazing. So many values and textures are within each of these pictures. Especially the last one is overwhelming when you look at it closely. But it has a very strong emotional impact, partially for that reason. I wonder how long it took him to complete one.

Shawn said...

i heart woodcut! i just hate all the damn work. can't we just throw it in some acid and it'll etch? no we cant we have to carve everything UGH! These are really powerful images and have tickled my fancy in terms of content :) torture is BRUTAL!!

Jaime said...

I too am overwhelmed with all the lines in these pictures. It is amazing how much you can achieve in values from just a few lines. My favorite piece was The Palace as it was in the sixtenth century. The drawing is laid out beautifully and you get a great sense of space with the bridge going to another part of the city in the background. Another thing is all these lines are so straight in the pciture and spaced so evenly at that, couldn't image doing all those lines so perfectly.

The piece the intrigued me on the printblog openning page was The Estrapade. The rope in the drawing makes your eyes travel all the way around the page. I was a little confused though by the placement of the noose. Traditionally it would be around the neck but in this it's placed on the arm of the man being tortured. Also besides the man being tortured there is no sense of emotion in the other figures. Just looks like they are doing their job.

Nate S said...

lines lines lines lines lines!!! WOW! that's pretty crazy stuff. The last one posted on the blog...the sky is absolutely ridiculous! It's always good to try to tackle an issue you feel strongly about...

Actually i was reading an article in "Time" earlier today that reminded me of this. In essence, what the author was saying was that the band U2, not a fan, but anyway he was saying they achieved more once they stopped writing "call to arms" songs with deep meaning and focused more on the melody and "catchyness" of their songs....I really like to think this author would have been run out of the printshop.

Always happy to see someone get pissed and get a point across with a kick as print...Way to make a Point!

Nate S said...

*ass not as...oops

sarah mc said...

The dark value of those lines is really impressive. I wish I could come on Tuesday to hear the Judge talk about some version of what's in those prints...clearly we don't really do things exactly that Renaissance way anymore.

(by the way, im listneing to mmmbop right now because i accidentally clicked on the hanson link that took me to youtube...)

anyway, the prints seem so complicated and intense and crowded that you can really just stare at them and they tell a whole long story. the last print on the blog is really great with the lone figure at the bottom, even though it is so small it is the focus because of how dark it is. really love all the dark values

kreger.anni said...

Greetings from New Jersey Printfools!!! I'll have to say that I'm missing the print shop a little but Jersey boy is keeping me pretty occupied. I am sorry to say that I'm going to be missing the Judges prescence in our class....I fly back Tuesday night. I expect lots of pictures to be posted and I expect to hear a very wordy explanation from Joel during Thursday attendance about all that they told us.
These images freak me out in a way mainly because I'm uncomfortable with the subject matter. i think that his value range is amazing and the concept of accomplishing all that he has through the use of line is amazing.
I'll have to admit though, I'll stick to my aquatint for now....woodcut is a pain!

Mark K said...

The public executions print is pretty crazy, tons going on. It still blows my mind that watching things like that was public entertainment for so long and no one really had a problem with it (or no one that had a problem with it was listened to). The other thing is that someone had to think up these different ways to torture and kill other people which is the really fucked up thing. I'm with Zoe Brown, the person hanging in the background and all the birds on the rafters of the old building is real eerie looking.

Ali said...

Dunno what I could say that is different than what everyone else has said. Lines.. wow..

I've always been a fan of the limited amount of prints we explored in History class with Sloan but I have always been meaning to take the time to look up more.

About the guests- I'm a bit curious as to what they are going to say. My sister is a tax lawyer and I like to think of her as a stereotypical "Bad Guy"

Anyway- I'm thinking about bringing cappuccino to class again- anyone interested? I'll bring some mugs..

chels said...

WOW these are insane! Its really nice to be able to see these images zoomed in, without it they just look aquatinted, and then I realized that they were all lines and woodcuts! The one that is the most interesting to me is the print Question Extraordinary. This was in the mid 16th century I think, and they used torture methods to get answers.. has much changed? waterboarding? hm. It does surprise me that the church is still alive after all this.
I am excited for elliot.. bring on the judge!

Toni said...

Yeah, its already been said. The lines are awesome and everywhere. A style I'd really love to get into if I had the time. I love how lines look... I think they work really well with these prints. It gives a certain feeling to them... I really dig all the prints posted. My favorites probably the member of the brotherhood of death. So ominous. And at closer look made up perfects of lines. I also like the public executions because of the subject matter and how incredibly busy it looks. Simple is refreshing, but busy can be so fascinating too. Also wanted to comment on the use of line in the Gibblet of Montfaucon. The use of line to create total chaos in the sky! Nifty. I'd be scared to do that for fear of totally ruining it. I like different the large versions look from the thumbnails. Like looking at 2 totally different pieces. Nice.

Cedarose said...

It is very troubling and strange to try to wrap my head around such a brutal time as the middle ages. Thank goodness for the few artists who spoke up with some sense of perspective and sanity. I hope the past can stay in the past and that we become more humane ith each day. The prints were like texts in their surface approach, not having visual depth and very readable.

Sarahhigley said...

The line quality on those woodcuts was astounding. When I looked at the image enlarged the detail was impeccable. I'm a little nervous about have these lawyer types in our printshop...I'm not too thrilled to show them my prints. I know Joel said that they have an art background, but somehow I don't think my non objective justice print will really inspire them. Anyway, I suppose I can trust them. After all, Don Sloan was once a lawyer type and now he's an art man.

Joanne said...

wow. i dont think i'd ever have the patience to do wood cuts like that. the use of line is..amazing to say the least. wow.

i'm excited for our visitors tomorrow! it'll be interesting to hear what they have to say about our prints and listen to their stories. hmmm yup.

Kaitlynn said...

I hope the judge doesn't remember me from when i was young and reckless...

Jess said...

sooooooooo excited! I love visitors! I can't believe that they are all line etch. I had to go back and look at them again because at first glance it didnt really click what it really was.

Britt Vogt said...

I like the lack of aquatint. I am trying to marry line etch and aquatinting in my final print series because I like how you can get such a contrast using practically the same medium.

ps It is very unjust that my aquatint keeps screwing up!

Mallory_Heesch said...

I really love how all of the prints (except the last one which is an engraving) are woodcuts!! I've been wanting to translate the idea of cross-hatching (as is seen in the woodscuts) in an intaglio print instead of using aquatint! I've done drawings in black ink pen using cross hatching, and really love the effect... so it's interesting to see some prints to inspire me to go in such a direction!

Mingo said...

I find it very interesting how all of the prints have clearly defined images with a massive amount of line. The clariety of the image allows you to see directly what is happening and not make you have to guess. Being so direct is very useful when it comes to prints that you want to everyone to understand the basics of the image

Mingo said...

Being someone who doesn't always trust authority and tend to think they are on a power trip, as so many in history have done, it was good to see that the Judge was there to enforce the counties beliefs and not just his own adjenda.

Rebecky said...

i'm said that i missed the judges visit ... i was really curious of what was gonna go down in the print shop. why must things always be planned on tuesdays and thursdays!? oh well but the prints on this weeks blogs were astounding. So intricate ... i don't know i would have the patience for this style. the "hanging to music" print gave me a chuckle ... how death was death with so lightly back in the day... tho i do feel bad for the poor fool who must play a bag pipe before his death.

Kirky B said...

it was really awesome hearing jelliot talk yesterday. The conversation about mingo's print was really powerful. He told how he closes his eyes when he's listening to people to totally absorb what they are saying and not taking in any other stimuli and how he makes sure that he always waits to hear the whole story before passing any type of judgment, regardless of how guilty a person may seem.

Kirky B said...

sorry for the run-on sentence

Ben Clark said...

The use of line work is fantastic. Are those really prints? They look more like fine-detailed sketches. As far as Tuesday's visit went, it was nice to see a (rather left-leaning judge finally on a bench) true appreciator of art represent the fine bench that decides the law in this area. Joel, you should let him know that I own a Madness album.

Olivia said...

Zoe talked about my favorite print in her post. I loved The gibblet of Montifcon (sp) it is so detailed. Each line gives the print so much texture and every object is a part of a greater texture. The elements play off each other and create a spectacular whole print of lines and texture and content that is out of this world...
maybe Mork brought it with him ....
hehe

Good luck to everyone registering for classes still, you will most likely need course override sheets for all your art classes, but hang in there!

the Sheriff said...

Personally I am quite pleased with the way that 'Judge-ment' day went. I was really really pleased with the Jelliot's ability to relate to the wonderful world of printmaking. He holds a lot of responsibility in his hands many individuals fates are decided by the his rulings. He seemed to be a sensible and good hearted individual who believed in fairness.

I was really interested by these prints posted this week. The world of printmaking becomes more and more profound to me. As a 'photo-type' I have to understand that before WE were around with our cameras and such there were printmakers making images and sending them abroad to make people aware of what was going on in the world... Kind of humbling.

Anyway, its the home stretch...time to dig in and get brutal in the shop.

Jumpy said...

It is very sad that I missed the inquiries, I do agree with Maddy though. The use of line and quality is overwhelming, the woodcarving is is very planned and the thought of trying to plan so extensively right now is overwhelming, thus I will admire the pictures yet never try it myself. The content is intriguing, with the amount of images that you can find of guillotine and public deaths, is kind of masochistic yet definitely displays part of the culture and things that were going on at that time.

Jon Vitkus said...

the values in those prints are remarkable. I couldn't imagine how much time went into those prints.

willison said...

i agree, nice line quality. very storybook. and yes, the tourture and subjectmatter captured in these prints are unnerving. especially the gibbet of montfaucon. i can't imagine seeing a large strucure built like that, and for that purpose in real life.