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Maine Print Project

Post #912 • November 27, 2006, 11:33 AM • 17 Comments

Portland, ME — It would be a great way to see Maine: twenty-five museums and art centers from Presque Island to York have been putting on exhibitions of print shows since August, as part of the Maine Print Project, billed as "largest collaborative arts project in Maine's history." I caught the Portland Museum of Art's entry into this effort, a show called "A Century of Maine Prints: 1880s-1980s," and it's great fun. Artists as far back as Winslow Homer retreated to Maine for the landscape and creative atmosphere, and the tradition of doing so continued with early Modernists like the Zorachs, high Modernists like Fairfield Porter (his image at the link above steals the show), and artists still working today. Other notable objects include keen works by Bellows and Hopper, a spirited, folky unicorn by Dahlov Ipcar, and a Marin landscape working its jaunty, yet tormented manner. Even the Alex Katz doesn't look half bad. As someone not native to the Pine Tree State, I appreciated seeing how it played into the lives of many luminaries and was home to many admirable locals.

George Bellows (United States, 1882-1925), "Matinicus," 1916, lithograph on wove paper, 7" x 9 1/8 inches (image), Portland Museum of Art, Museum purchase with support from the Friends of the Collection, photo by

William Zorach (United States [b. Lithuania], 1887 - 1966), "The Ship (Maine)," 1916, linoleum cut on paper, 6 1/16", Portland Museum of Art, Museum purchase, 1987.27

Dahlov Ipcar (United States, b.1917), "Unicorn Wood," 1969, woodcut on Japanese rice paper16 7/8" x 22 1/2", Portland Museum of Art, Gift of Dahlov Ipcar in memory of her brother Tessim Zorach, photo by

Alex Katz (United States, b.1927), "Good Afternoon," 1974, lithograph and silkscreen on paper, 27 1/2" x 36", Portland Museum of Art, Gift of Brooke Alexander




November 27, 2006, 11:46 AM

The Bellows is rich and good. The Katz is just as bland as the paintings, even though his methods should fit well with silk screen.


pee green

November 27, 2006, 12:04 PM

I'd like to [make a smarter comment than this one. - F.]


pee green

November 27, 2006, 12:21 PM

o.k., I'll try again. I would like to liven up this painting by adding chartruese and fuschia



November 27, 2006, 12:28 PM

We drove up to Portland in a heavy fog, and the Katz, to its credit, captures the local weather. The piece itself could use some hue contrast, yes. It's a print, btw, not a painting.


pee green

November 27, 2006, 12:31 PM

yes, a print. i miss spoke



November 27, 2006, 1:03 PM

Next to the Porter, the Katz looks quite negligible (not that it's especially impressive in any case).



November 27, 2006, 1:04 PM

The Bellows image is incomparable. Wow. I wish I could see it in person - thank you for posting it.



November 27, 2006, 2:52 PM

I have to disagree with opie on this one. I do like the katz a great deal because i think it blends the colors in a musical sense. That might be just random sight/mood assumptions but whatever.



November 27, 2006, 9:34 PM

Katz's work is perfect for these times with it's computor software look. He has undoubtably influenced many contemporary two-dimensional artists. I remember his lecture at FIU where he spoke of the importance of "style" regarding picture making.



November 27, 2006, 11:22 PM

Style is nice, assuming there's some substance to go with it. Katz has so little substance he might as well be a case of the vapors. Pass.


Marc Country

November 28, 2006, 1:26 AM

Yes, the Katz does look like it was created in MSPaint, perhaps... too bad he forgot about the right side of the picture, and just left it there to die...



November 28, 2006, 4:03 PM

Yes Marc, the right hand side is gone - does that matter?


Marc Country

November 28, 2006, 9:36 PM

Everything in the picture matters, Jordan.



November 28, 2006, 11:58 PM

...but it is an Alex Katz dude - if there is anything to be learned in America, it is the name recognition thing.
The Art is good only if the name is. Don't you read anything in the mags man?


Marc Country

November 29, 2006, 11:33 AM

Sorry... I don't read art magazines.
Next time I see a lackluster picture, though, I'll try to remember to check if it's an Alex Katz.



December 2, 2006, 6:30 PM

there isnt a Katz I have ever seen that I have liked....yawn is an understatement...his work brings on a instant coma



December 2, 2006, 6:38 PM

I did lithos for a very brief hiccup of time and its toxic, messy and very hard work.........then after all that one hopes to make good work. So when I see a little gem here like the Bellows, I realllllllllllllly do appreciate it even more.
That short stint made me love painting all the more:)



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