Thursday, March 24, 2011

Artists' Books made @ MCAD on view in the Library


Inspired by the Made @ MCAD exhibition in the gallery, the Library is jumping in with a mini made at MCAD show of its own.  The exhibit was curated by Fine Arts senior, Maura Doyle, and features artists' books from the Library's collection and on loan by current and former instructors, MCAD students, and alumni.   Included are works by Karen Wirth, Jody Williams, Kinji Akagawa, James Casebere and others using diverse print techniques, unusual materials and in a variety of formats.

The artists' books are now on display in the main reading room of the Library and the second stack room.  Stop by the Library and enjoy!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Allison O'Brien and fellow comic majors recommend

Allison O'Brien
For the fifth in our series of student recommended Library material pertaining to MCAD majors we highlight Comic Art.  The Library thanks Alison O'Brien and her fellow comic art students for compiling this interesting collection of graphic novels and comics now on display in the main reading room.  Check them out, literally!!

Thank you Allison for your insightful comments about the selections, and for sharing your self-portrait.

The items we’ve chosen strike a mark on the genre of comic books with literary and artistic vision that stretch them beyond the norm, whether it be by critical reception or occult appreciation. As a collective we attempted to pick the best of everything we could get our hands on in the widest range of styles possible to truly showcase what this medium has to offer. Enjoy the ride, my friends.

Love and Rockets is a character-driven opus that sets the standard for character and temporal development throughout a comic. The stories and characters span over years and years, growing in and around each other in ways that make it a pleasure to read and reread time and time again to become fully immersed in Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez’ world.

Something more readily self-contained but just as fascinating is the award-winning Asterios Polyp. Asterios Polyp is something that can scarcely be explained through mere words, but suffice to say the sheer beauty of its layout is enough to give it precedence. Utilizing character-specific tonal ranges and constantly shifting styles, it’s a comic that forces the reader to come to their own terms and opinions, reexamining passages and artwork alike to fully ascertain even a shred of what Mazzucchelli is trying to convey. 

For something a bit more dark and gritty why not try out The Dark Knight 
Returns.   You’ll get yourself a face full of harrowing physical and psychological    turmoil that only Frank Miller can push to the forefront. It features a fresh-out-of-    retirement Batman up against the cold-war politics of a disparaging Gotham that    push him to the brink more than the darkness he fights ever could. It’s poignant,    harsh, and perfectly fitting with the Batman of our modern media.

And that’s just the tip of iceberg. From the mind-numbingly moving Buddha to the
 quirky antics of Beanworld, take some time to dive on in.


Monday, March 14, 2011

Dane Cree, Drawing & Painting major recommends....

The Library thanks Dane Cree, Drawing and Painter major, for sharing his picks for what inspires him from the Library’s collection.  It is the fifth in our series of displays of material relating to MCAD majors selected by students.  Enjoy!!

Dane Cree
The items I’ve chosen have found their way into my life, some more recently than others, and have stuck with me. Much of the work can be described as psychological, erotic and bold. These artists have made an impact on the way I think about art.  There are a few that stand out in my mind as especially noteworthy.

Ray Johnson: An artist who began painting stripes and morphed into a collagist and performance artist. He is someone that I admire for both the art he created as well as the way in which he conducted himself throughout his life. A book titled Ray Johnson: Correspondences and a documentary film called How to Draw a Bunny are both worth looking at.

Hans Bellmer: A great draftsman who created unusual drawings, photos and sculptures grasp my attention. The nature of his work may be disturbing in the eyes of some, but quite fascinating to others. Well-drafted, psychological, sexually charged imagery is a common theme in his work. If that combination of words excites you, then you need to have a look at the books titled Hans Bellmer.

Chris Cunningham: Most known for his distinctly unusual music videos directed for Bjork and Aphex Twin, as well as other artists. The distorted realities that he creates bring out the essence in the music for which they were created. I would recommend watching both The Work of Director Chris Cunningham along with the grotesque, 6 min. film for musician Aphex Twin titled, Rubber Johnny. Don’t forget to look at the booklet that comes with if you happen to enjoy his work.

I find great inspiration in people who are multifaceted especially those who live their lives from one creation to the next. This combination of books and DVDs encourages me to continue to look beyond the content contained within them as I make my way through life. Whether I’m laying paint on canvas, drawing hundreds of frames for an animation or performing; I can always look back at the artists that created before me and be excited by what they did with their time.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Amit Tischler, MFA animation recommends....

For the third in this series of student recommended Library resources we are pleased to share with you Amit Tischler's selections.  Amit is an MFA Animation graduate student from Tel Aviv, Israel.  Read his insightful comments about what he chose, then stop in to the Library and check them out!
Thanks, Amit!

Amit Tischler
Animation is a field that includes many genres, styles and techniques under its basic definition. As a 2D animator, and an MFA student who had already worked in the industry I’ve already established my own style and favorite technique and that affected the topics that I chose for this display. 

 I specifically chose books and films that deal with the more traditional techniques of animation (stop motion and traditional classic animation) from both western and eastern Industries. Like many MCAD students, I too am an anime fan and believe we have a lot to learn from the masters of the Japanese industry, so whether you like japanimation or not, some of these picks are a must for every animator regardless of his preferences.

In the Japanese animation feature department I highly recommend checking out Satoshi Kon’s Millenium Actress, Hayao Miyazaki’s My Neighbor Totoro and Madhouse’s Ghost in the Shell as films that represent very different and unique kinds of storytelling and creative design techniques for animated features.

In the western front, I’d recommend checking out the Wallace and Gromit collection for some good old fashioned stop motion goodness, Brad Bird’s The Iron Giant for one of the most under rated yet amazingly well done American classic animation films and Persepolis for a different and very contemporarily relevant classic animation film.

Also, for all you fresh animators I chose to showcase books that might prove insightful and helpful for you on your journey into this area of expertise and even for your school assignments here at MCAD. These books are of course recommended not only for beginners, but for experienced animators as well, there are always new tricks to learn, new bits of information or sources of inspiration to discover.

From the book department I urge you to check out Richard Williams’ The Animator’s Survival Kit, it is the true holy bible of animation from one of the most brilliant and talented animators who ever lived. All you animators that still struggle with walking cycles, stretching, squashing or easing in and out- have no fear, all the answers you seek will be there, that I can assure you.

And for all you animators more interested in the wonders of anime and the pre-production process of feature films, I would recommend checking out the Ghibli studio art books I placed in this collection, they’re a true feast for the eyes.
Amit Tishler
MFA- Animation.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Exploring the architecture of the Twin Cities

During your time here at MCAD, have you had an opportunity to explore the built environment of the Twin Cities?  In and around downtown Minneapolis, you’ll find an exciting array of world-class architecture, including signature buildings by five Pritzker Prize-winning architects -- among them Frank Gehry’s Weisman Art Museum on the University of Minnesota campus, and Jean Nouvel’s exciting Guthrie Theater complex overlooking the Stone Arch Bridge on the Mississippi River.

Adjacent to the Guthrie, the Mill City Museum provides an innovative example of adaptive re-use:  focusing on Minneapolis’ industrial history, the Museum is constructed inside the shell of an historic 19th century flour mill.  Downtown on Nicollet Mall, Cesar Pelli’s Central Public Library is an internationally-renowned “green building,” featuring a host of energy-efficient measures, including a roof garden and substantial use of natural light.

Our Twin City, nearby St. Paul, boasts architectural gems ranging from Cass Gilbert’s Minnesota State Capitol and the Baroque-inspired Cathedral of St. Paul, to the mansion of railroad baron James J. Hill; in close proximity, you can see styles ranging from the French chateau of the Landmark Center to the streamlined Art Deco lines of the Jemne Bulding – and even a touch of populist America in Mickey’s Diner.

At one time, MCAD offered a program in Architecture, and the Library’s collection includes publications documenting many of the Twin Cities’ historic buildings and neighborhoods.  We hope you enjoy looking through these publications highlighting the past and present of the urban landscape all around us!