Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Adventures in Hinsdale, NH

I left Maine for New Hampshire in a crazy heat wave that is rare for New England.  New Hampshire can be as close as 45 minutes or as long as 3.5 hours away since it is on the border (literally) of western Mass and Southern Vermont.  This drive is a special one for me, since I did it many times to and from Hampshire College when I was a student and also many times to my favorite museum, Mass Moca. It is a beautiful drive mostly through Massachusetts with a bit in Maine and a bit in New Hampshire.

I met Peter and Deb through my painter friends, Gideon, Meghan and Joe at Joe's opening many years ago in Boston.  Peter is a master printer and musician and Deb an artist.  Even though I have known them for so long, and I see them a couple times a  year, it is usually at openings in other cities and this was my first time at their house.  I pulled up at about 8 pm and Peter had the grill going and they quickly fixed me a gin & tonic.  Peter spotted their next door neighbor John arrive from NYC, so he invited him over for dinner as well.  We had a lively discussion about art collecting and had a delicious and beautiful dinner of farm fresh corn, salad and steak.

Dinner ended after midnight and we stayed up a bit more to chat.  They showed me to my room and right outside the door was a giant flat file -- curiosity got the best of me and for another hour I got Peter to do a super late night show and tell and my mind was completely blown.   I knew that Peter worked with some great artists, but I had no idea when they were in San Francisco at Crown Point Press they worked with some of my all time heroes.  He showed me Mapplethorpe photo graveurs for a book with Patti Smith, a book of photo etchings by Sol Lewitt, a book by Francesco Clemente, Louise Bourgeois prints and countless others.  Not only was this my first time seeing many of these works, but the most spectacular thing was seeing them in real life just laid out.  It is a totally different feeling than looking at them in a gallery or museum.  I am still thinking about the Sol Lewitt book which is only in an edition of 25 so I'll have to make another trip to see them to see it again.

And I highly recommend watching this little movie about working with John Cage on prints both at Crown Point and Wingate:

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