Manneken Press presents Wanted! Collaborative Monotypes by John Yau and Richard Hull. This online exhibition will be featured on Artsy through February 4, 2024.
John Yau is an art critic and poet. Richard Hull is a Chicago-based painter influenced by the Chicago Imagists who were his teachers and mentors. Wanted! highlights the prints that the pair made at Manneken Press in March 2023.
Yau and Hull are longtime friends and have both engaged in collaborations with others, but never until now with each other. Loosely following the format of “Wanted” posters of outlaws from the old Wild West for this project, Yau provided pithy phrases which he sketched directly onto rectangular plates. Hull used the texts as prompts, drafting abstracted portraits on a larger square plate. The three plates were placed together and printed once for the initial impression, then a second cognate or “ghost” impression was pulled, a pattern followed throughout the series.
Each of the prints contains a message. Some call for more attention to under-recognized artists like John D. Graham, and Miyoko Ito. “Wanted: The Lost Movies of Anna May Wong” (2023) is a lamentation for the first Chinese-American film star whose career was diminished due to stereotyping and Hays Code censorship.
above: Wanted: More Eyes On John D. Graham, 2023.
top: Wanted: A Lavish Biopic of Sessue hayakawa. I, 2023.
“Wanted: A Lavish Biopic Of Sessue Hayakawa, I” (2023) forefronts another early 20th-century Hollywood film actor whose career as a romantic lead was arrested by wartime anti-Japanese sentiment in the United States. Hayakawa’s career rebounded post-WWII with the support of fellow actors, and he later appeared in Bridge On the River Kwai, Swiss Family Robinson, and other films, but remains relatively unknown to contemporary audiences. Yau’s text calls attention to Hayakawa’s name and talent while Hull’s image of a fractured yet radiant figure is suggestive of the racism that withered the actor’s legacy.
“I Dreamed Of A Thousand Tongues Wagging And Singing In The Sky/Philip Guston”, and “Giorgio Guston/Philip de Chirico” are paeans to favorite artists, and jocose wordplay appears in “Wanted: Juan Ted”. Hull’s abstract heads are intended to evoke humor, anxiety, exasperation, or pathos and become a visual phraseology to Yau’s writing; or, as Yau states, “Something weirdly funny, slightly disturbing, oddly comical, and a tad creepy.”
The prints in Wanted! Collaborative Monotypes by John Yau and Richard Hull are approximately 30” x 22” on Arches Cover, Tiepolo, Lana Gravure and Khadi papers. The artists used R&F Pigment Sticks and Caran D’Ache water soluble crayons to make the prints. Each print is signed by both artists and impressed with the Manneken Press blind stamp on the front lower margin. This project is published by and available from Manneken Press. Several of the monotypes were exhibited in our recent art fairs, EXPO Chicago and Art On Paper in New York City. Read more about the exhibition in Hyperallergic.
Disguise The Limit: John Yau’s Collaborations will be mounted by the University of Kentucky Art Museum in 2024, featuring examples of the many prints, paintings, drawings, photographs, mixed media works and artist books that Yau has created in collaboration with more than forty artists over the past three decades. Several of the monotypes with Richard Hull and a portfolio of prints by Judy Ledgerwood with a poem by Yau, published by Manneken Press in 2014, will be included in the exhibition.
About the artists:
John Yau is a New York-based American poet and critic who has published over 50 books of poetry, artist’s books, fiction, and art criticism. Yau has received numerous awards including the Lavan Award from the Academy of American Poets, the 2018 Jackson Poetry Prize, the American Poetry Review Jerome Shestack Award, and a 1988 New York Foundation for the Arts Award. He is also the recipient of a 1977 National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, two Ingram-Merrill Foundation Fellowships, and grants from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation. Yau has authored books on artists such as Jasper Johns and Andy Warhol, created artist’s books in collaboration with Richard Tuttle and Squeak Carnwath among others, and collaborated with artists including Pat Steir and Archie Rand. An exhibition of Yau’s collaborations with artists will be mounted by the University of Kentucky Art Museum in 2024.
Yau was the arts editor for The Brooklyn Rail and is currently an editor at the online arts publication Hyperallergic. In 1999 Yau established Black Square Editions which is devoted to publishing translations of little known books by well-known poets and fiction writers, as well as the work of emerging and established authors.
Richard Hull is a Chicago-based painter whose work has been exhibited extensively. Hull joined the legendary Phyllis Kind Gallery before graduating from the School of the Art Institute in Chicago in 1979 and showed numerous times in her New York City and Chicago locations. Richard Hull has had more than 40 one-person shows and his work is included in the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, the Milwaukee Art Museum; the Nelson-Atkins Museum, Kansas City; the Smart Museum, Chicago, Neuberger Museum of Art, Westchester NY, the Nerman Museum, Kansas City, and the Smithsonian Museum, Washington DC. Manneken Press has published Hull’s etching editions and monotypes since 2015.
Video and studio image courtesy of Gary Justis.