Saturday, July 12, 2014

"Beauty Speaks Like an Oracle:" Barragán Monotypes

After we got back from a trip to Western PA in June to see Fallingwater and the Andy Warhol Museum (!) and the birthplace of Gertrude Stein (by accident), I stumbled onto a New York Times article about the architecture of Luis Barragán.  It's like certain art prepares you completely for what comes next.  So I've become a little unexpectedly obsessed with Barragán's unexpectedly warm de Chirico-esque spaces come to life.  He often meant horses to run and water to flow through them.  To better understand Barragán, I started copying photos of his work, and making encaustic monotypes based on these architectural fields.  Obsessively fun, and also a way to really deeply look at these new (for me) spaces, and also practice the meditation of seriality.  

This first photo is a picture of a spent plate after the image has been pulled:

And the image on kitakata paper (16" x 20"), touched up with pastels:

Then I decided to document one piece start to finish.  

First the photo (on the left) of the Barragán space:

Then a drawing of the piece roughed out on kitakata.  Kitakata is my favorite paper so far for encaustic monotype.  It really pulls the details of the encaustic from the plate.

 The image drawn on my heated palette:

 The image printed onto kitakata:

The image touched up with soft pastels (something about the unlikely intersection of the wax and the chalk makes me crazy with happiness):

A close detail of the purple field:

 Spent plate:

It's possible that Barragán would roll in his grave, seeing what I'm doing to his contemplative spaces, making them into these swirling, undulating cartoons.  But it's pretty ecstatic.  I've done about 32 (I think) so far, and I can't quite stop.