Friday, January 22, 2010

Frosty Blackletter....


A year ago I visited my brother in Munich, Germany, arriving on a crystal frosty morning in January...a light snow and high humidity had etched the trees with white...I later visited the Klingspor Museum, in Frankfurt and got to see the works of Rudolf Koch,K arlgeorg Hoefer, and many other exemplary calligraphers and book artists (snapshots posted with permission of the owners of this work, the Klingspor Museum, Frankfurt am Main). Rudolf Koch's worked fascinated me: his early manuscript books show that he has the most beautiful calligraphic hand and impeccable craftsmanship: his blackletter is linear and even, his illustrations traditional and charming. ( The content of his work is work that is mostly the Gospels and other biblical texts.) Later,he used a blackletter that is blocky, uneven and apparently rapidly made, giving it enormous strength and character. It looks so uneven, messy and in some places almost naive and primitve. I am curious as to why he developed it. Guess it's time to invest in his autobiography. I tried to copy this interesting blackletter, with it's heavy foot serifs and executed a series of work on cloth to "practice"...this work is so textural, I pictured fabric. The only finished piece uses some verses of a poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay, white on black fabric...which was written in the coldest week of January, (we were even frosty here in Florida!), and reminded me so much of walking around Munich a year ago.... video