Monotype 46


Monotype, colored pencil and graphite on gray wove paper.
Signed and titled in pencil.

NOTE: The first image you see on this page is a detail of a larger work. To see the overall composition, please scroll to the other image(s).

Sometimes an artist makes it easy to force you to look at their work closely.  Anda Tanaka’s monotypes are of that ilk.  For her prints she restrains her scale and nearly always works in small or very small sizes.  This conscious decision forces the viewer to move her or his gaze close to the actual object.  Most textures, and nearly all of the delicacy that her monotypes exude, can only be seen by putting one’s nose almost literally on her sheets of paper.  While her abstract compositions echo elements of reality, upon which each viewer is free to superimpose his or her own imagined scape, there is no necessity to step away from these works of art to experience them fully.  They “speak” mostly from a few inches or feet away.  Seen from farther, the graphic elements that protrude, invite us to come closer to get a clearer understanding of their intention. While the strong red and slate-blue shapes can be seen from a distance in Monotype 46, the granular texture of the red “sky” and the asperities she kept, can only be experienced fully within a foot or two of the object.  The asperities look to us almost as stars or comets in a surreal firmament.  The soft rhythm of the central blue shape requires close scrutiny as well.  And the overlaid pencil drawing, floating in the light-blue “waters” of the foreground, only makes sense as one approaches and notices what looks like string printed in the powder-blue mass.  All of these intricacies make you feel like you need to move in more closely; and then a little closer still.

5 7/8 x 5 7/8 inches