April 20 - August 1, 2022
ABOUT THE SHOW
Work by Donald Groscost
Donald Groscost splits his time between Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and the Catskill mountains of New York. Donald has maintained a studio in New York City for the past thirty-five years. During this time he has taught as an Instructor of Fine Arts and Art History at Caldwell College and Brookdale College and has been invited to teach and lecture as a visiting artist at several universities, colleges, and museums throughout the United States and abroad. He has exhibited and been collected in the United States, South America, Asia, Indonesia, Australia, and Europe.
The work in the gallery is comprised of two mediums - mokuhanga prints and sumi ink paintings.
The print to the right, Flashback, “November 1”, 2017, is a collaboration between Donald Groscost and Master Printer Kitamura Shoichi, and was funded by the Mokuhanga Project Center. Mokuhanga is a traditional form of Japanese woodblock printmaking - moku, meaning wood, and hanga, meaning printmaking. Mokuhanga prints are derived from water-based pigments, creating a vibrant color palette. In the case of this show, the layering of the sumi ink has created deep, rich blacks and greys.
Flashback, “November 1”, 2017 was painted by Donald and sent to Japan where woodblocks were carved and printed by Kitamura. The 16 additional works on this wall represent the printing process - showing both the layering of the inked woodblock and also the individual woodblocks (the lower row).
On the western and northern walls are 21 sumi ink paintings. Sumi is Japanese for black ink. This ink is made from a mixture of plant soot and glue solidified into sticks or cakes. The ends of the sticks are scraped or ground into water on an ink slab. Sumi ink is used by calligraphers and painters.
ABOUT THE ARTIST(S)
My primary interest lies in the observation of natural phenomena and the systems they inhabit. While exploring the natural world through the arena of memory and the subconscious, I hope to arrive at an image of “inevitability” where something akin to a true force of nature manifests itself.
It’s about being aware; about a sort of hypersensitive perception and the translation of that perception into the context of painting. Within this construct, it is my attempt to organize states of feeling whereby the rhythms and complexities of our natural world merge into a singular given form.
In a catalog essay for two exhibitions in Japan, the critic Robert Morgan wrote:
“…Donald Groscost’s perception of nature is neither present nor absent. Rather it goes in the direction of transforming the way we perceive the natural world, not through technological interference or its consequential detritus, but through envisioning a possibility where representation and abstraction declare a new visual structure.”
About Master Printer Kitamura Shoichi
Kitamura Shoichi is a master carver and accomplished printer in Kyoto Japan. He studied contemporary woodblock techniques under Prof. Kurosaki at Kyoto Seika University. Since then he has apprenticed in traditional Ukiyo-e carving techniques under Tomikichiro Tokuriki and done research under master carver, Osamu Hotta. He is a member of the Kyoto Woodblock Printmaking Association and vice-chair of the Kyoto branch of the Ukiyo-e Printmaking Woodblock Association of Technical Preservation.
About The Mokuhanga Project Space
The Mokuhanga Project Space, a non-profit organization in Washington State, is directed by Professor Akira Takemoto (Whitman College) with resident artist and Whitman College Professor of Art Emerita, Keiko Hara. Takemoto and Hara have been involved directly and indirectly in various projects that led to the formation of the Mokuhanga Center. The dream to develop a center for Mokuhanga began in the spring of 2014 when they organized the “Abstract American Mokuhanga” exhibit at Whitman College. With the encouragement of Karen Kunc, Hiroki Morinoue, Keiko Kadota, April Vollmer, and Hiroki Satake, they sponsored various mokuhanga events at Whitman College. When Mark Anderson urged them to “share the dream” with Walla Walla, they organized their first workshop at Whitman College in 2016, led by a master printer and artist in New York, Yasu Shibata. Mark Anderson also persuaded them to prepare an exhibit of Shibata-sensei’s work, and he endorsed their idea to bring Yabe Tsuneko, a Sōgetsu flower arranger from Kyōto, and Yoshiyasu Fujii a master calligrapher to enhance the exhibit at the Foundry Gallery. This is the third exhibition Foundry and the Project Space have collaborated on.