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The James Gleeson oral history collection

James Gleeson interviews Australia's major artists | SUBSCRIBE TO iTUNES PODCAST

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image: Grahame King 'Reflection 1975 4/12, lithograph, printed in colour from multiple stones/plates, 75.0 x 57.0 cm

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Grahame King
Reflection
1975  4/12
lithograph, printed in colour, from multiple stones/plates
75.0 h x 57.0 w cm
more detail

Grahame King

18 October 1979 [unknown location]

James Gleeson: Let us talk about this one first. This is Reflections.

Grahame King: Again, it is the word thing.

James Gleeson: Yes.

Grahame King: If we analyse this print, the big panel has been drawn from dark to light. But it has also been printed from darker to light on the roller, so there is a different tone ink on the roller as you roll it, and you are rolling it the same way, exactly.

James Gleeson: It must be complicated.

Grahame King: In Reflection you will see that it is an exact image.

James Gleeson: Yes.

Grahame King: This image is on one plate. I have printed that there.

James Gleeson: This looks pale grey.

Grahame King: That’s right. I have printed a solid black all over here.

James Gleeson: I see.

Grahame King: Then I have moved the plate, and I have printed a masked section of that down here. Then over the top of it I have used semi-opaque inks to produce a grey here, and another tone here. All these technical things create the final work. These marks through here are roller marks. You could consider them as a fault but, as I have used them all the way through, they have become part of the thing, which I have accepted.

James Gleeson: Yes.

Grahame King: The good commercial printer would be very worried about those, but I am using them as part of the verticality.

James Gleeson: Yes—a positive element.

Grahame King: Yes, that is right.


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Grahame King
Motif III.
1975 artist's proof 6/6
lithograph, printed in colour, from multiple stones/plates
sheet 152.5 h x 55.9 w cm
Purchased 1976
more detail

Grahame King

18 October 1979 [unknown location]

James Gleeson: This is the last one in the series that we have to date—Motive III of 1975; quite a recent one.

Grahame King: Yes, this is a big one.

James Gleeson: It extends the scope of the press.

Grahame King: I think it is 152 centimetres. In other words, it is about five feet. It is limited by the width of the press, but I can push the paper through and juggle it. In terms of printing I only made an edition of six, and there would be variations. So they are all artists’ proofs. It is only a question of whether you value the individual thing. The difficulties are this. There are eleven plates in the printing of it. That means different times, and we have to register those each time exactly. Also, this is done on the heavy paper I was speaking of.

James Gleeson: The Japanese—

Grahame King: Yes, which is not terribly receptive. It is not as nice to work on as the Arches, but it has this tremendous hand-done quality, which I value.

James Gleeson: Yes.

Grahame King: That is why I have struggled with it.

James Gleeson: It seems beautiful to me. Again, I get a Japanese feel.

Grahame King: Yes.

James Gleeson: These look almost like calligraphic marks.

Grahame King: Yes. I wish I had met the East twenty years earlier—I would have learnt something positive about calligraphy. I love the calligraphic mark. I read this mark as related to a branch, a twig or something of that nature. It is as simple as that; it is simple work. This one has some sort of kite form floating around. It is strange, isn’t it—a rather heavyweight one?

James Gleeson: Yes.

Grahame King: I have to watch that I do not make an absolute Japanese mark. I think that would be very bad; it would be very weak to do that.

James Gleeson: Yes, imitation.

Grahame King: Yes. I have to make my mark. That the whole thing has a Japanese relationship, I don’t mind.

James Gleeson: That is something assimilated, and not copied.

Grahame King: Yes, that is what it’s about.

 

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