by Roberta Loach
Among our national treasures is June Wayne. She is a lady of many accomplishments. She may be best known for her founding of the Tamarind Institute of Printmaking in Los Angeles, Ca. in 1960 which gave the printmaking world all over the U.S. a much needed shot in the arm. In part because of June, California and many other prominent states across the nation have led the way in printmaking throughout the world. June has always been an artist first. Her love affair with lithography is well known especially for her many innovative techniques in the discipline. Her large sensitively done paintings have been exhibited, widely and after the Tamarind years, as she puts it, she ‘broke free’ and went to France to oversee the making of some of her paintings into large and very beautiful tapestries. Her writings on printmaking and many other subjects are well known for their pithy content which usually hits the mark like a bullseye, and I might add often with great humor. In the same spirit she has often been in demand as a lecturer for her ability to provoke people’s complacency and often dispense highly worthwhile knowledge and information. Moving right along nonstop we offer here some of her latest works: June’s adventure into political satire, “Sects In The City”, “Zinc Mon Amour,” a thought piercing digital print, and “Propeller” her newly found adventure with acrylic styrene painting.
The following comments about the work of June Wayne are from her assistant, Larry Workman.
1) “Sects In The City”, June Wayne, 2006, 27”x39”, Ed. 30
Digital graphic print on velvet enhanced archival paper, scanned by David Coons and printed by Jack Duganne. Published by Rutgers Center for Innovative Print and Paper (RCIPP, now the Brodsky Center). Wayne initially conceived of “Sects” as a lithograph. Seeking weightier colors than litho ink could provide, she redid it as a silkscreen. Still dissatisfied, she turned the image into a collage of actual photographs, printed texts on colored papers, raffias, and real numbered tacks punched through a real map of Hollywood mounted on a Celtec backing. Concerned that this three-dimensional collage would be difficult for museums and collectors to store and display, she redesigned it for a fourth and final time as a digital print with meticulous trompe l’oeil effects, including hand drawn shadows for the hundreds of tacks pinpointing places of worship. Over the course of the project, she collaborated with a team of twelve: researchers, photographers, fabricators, conservators, printers and consultants. The information contained in the image took more than 18 months to gather. “Sects In The City” is Wayne’s first overtly political work of art, a graphic view of the burgeoning growth of ‘rapture religionists’, who are in her opinion, undermining the separation of church and state in the United States.
See “June Wayne: The Art of Everything, A Catalogue Raisonne, 1936-2006,” Robert P. Conway. Published by Rutgers University Press, 2007. CR#478, page 407
2) “Zinc Mon Amour”, was originally a lithograph by June Wayne, called “Stare”. The Brodsky Center for Innovative Editions at Rutgers University invited June to contribute to the Femolio project, a portfolio of twenty original prints by twenty women artists, all of whom were active in the feminist movement in art during the 1970’s. The portfolio was sold to benefit the Brodsky Center. June resized and reworked the image, “Stare”, which became “Zinc Mon Amour”. It is now a digital graphic print, scanned by David Coons and printed by Jack Duganne, 12”x12”, 200
3) “June Wayne working on “Propeller”, her largest styrene painting to date, Oct. 2006
In the words of June Wayne: “When I was a nearsighted kid reading the Sunday comics (The Katzenjammer Kids), I noticed that the colors were made of dots; red and yellow for orange, blue and yellow for green, red and blue for purple. The dots stunned me. Is everything really something else, or is this only in the comics?”
“A few years later, Sherlock Holmes became my hero because he noticed details from which he could draw the most amazing conclusions. From Holmes I learned how to notice and deduce…..which set me up for that great sound bite attributed to Enrico Fermi….roughly, that ‘you always know more about anything than you think you do. Just add everything you already know to everything you can observe and you’ll come within ten percent of accuracy about any subject at all.’ One has to practice noticing and deducing. As it happens, that is how art is made.” June Wayne