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Thread: William Blake.

  1. #46
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    this image is amazingplate06.jpg

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  3. #47

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    yeah. that's laura. it is a heavyweight thing. par for the course when collecting however many zines went into it. bit like k-punk collection. weird to collect something like that together into when its contents were initially quite ephemeral.

    she's great tho. really interested to see what she frames to the exhibition.

  4. #48
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    yeah if you go, please report back. this image also brilliant:

    Urizen_Plate_9_William_Blake.jpg

    Although i would like someone to explain to me why the text is so unclear and hard to read. Surely something to do with the printing process?

  5. #49
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    Ok, the moment you've all been waiting for with baited breath. Last week I spoke with Mr K, a renowned local printer, on the newly built canalside in Salford, and asked him this very question (how come the lettering is so shit?).

    His answers were as follows:

    1. Blake was often doing the works he is now famous for in the evenings, after long days of commercial printing. So he was tired, and they could be a bit sloppy for that reason.
    2. He was a well known engraver, and could have done the letters properly if he wanted, using letterpress (there's a rumour he did the letters, uncredited, for Hogarth) but his whole thing with these pieces is that he wanted them to be much more an integration of image and text, cos he was doing his version of illuminated manuscripts.
    3. The actual method of how these are made is odd. They are relief prints (eg like lino or woodcut, where the impression is created because an area has been shaved away, but they are a bit more unusual, cos he left the raised bit as the image and text, whereas nowadays you would more likely cut away the image. Ive not explained this very well but basically he made it hard for himself.
    4. He taught himself how to how to write backwards, rather than the normal method of writing it normally, then reversing it and copying the resultant pattern.
    5. Few more prosaic issues: he was mixing his own colours and probably working with old or worn plates. And it's likely his plates would be damaged after just a few editions.

    There, I hope that's cleared things up for people, I could feel the desperation to know the answers. You must all try hard not to read the plain text, instead look at the really unclear words on the plate itself and marvel at the integration with image, remember the limitations thus outlined.

    Still not been to the exhibition.

  6. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by luka View Post
    Probably but very badly I'd imagine. Very very badly would be my guess. I doubt I'll even attempt to read the words. Luckily it's mostly pictures. About 200 pages long.
    The arrogance
    Αι ψυχαί οσμώνται καθ΄ Άιδην.

  7. #51
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    Saying that, I do think the best art books are mainly pictures. It's quite hard sometimes finding ones like that.
    Αι ψυχαί οσμώνται καθ΄ Άιδην.

  8. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Corpsey View Post
    The arrogance
    You know what I mean though. It's possible to write well on art but things for major galleries are drastically dumbed down for the bovine herd

  9. #53
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    I'm as informed as you are as to what's written in there.

    I would expect that they commissioned people who know a great deal about Blake and his art, though.

    Fair point re: dumbing down. Although with art in particular I think dumbing down can be instructive. With Blake, I admit, there could be a problem, as it's all based on this complex mythology. Were these paintings supposed to be understood implicitly, or were you supposed to have a broken code in mind?

    As I probably said earlier in this thread, seeing Blake's images plastered over tea towels and mugs in the Tate shop made me feel vaguely scandalised.
    Αι ψυχαί οσμώνται καθ΄ Άιδην.

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