Will Petersen (1928-1994) original color stone print 1970 Red Totem

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Seller: archerdulac (261) 100%, Location: Evanston, Illinois, Ships to: US, Item: 132915700890 Original color stone lithograph print by Will Petersen (1928-1994). Red Totem. No title. 8/20 Signed in pencil with WP chop embossment, dated 1970, printed on rag off white (probably Arches) paper. Paper is a darker value in photo. approx 6."x 4." paper size. See other auctions of small lithographs and drawings from this time group and earlier. Print from Will Petersen's estate. A full biography follows for reference. Will Petersen (1928 - 1994)American painter, printmaker, author & poet.BA, MA Michigan State University, MFA California College of Arts and Crafts. Will Petersen was born in Chicago in 1928 to German immigrant parents, Robert Petersen and Minni Eder. Petersen is the oldest of three children. His twin siblings are Florence and Robert. He graduated from Steinmetz High School where he succeeded Hugh Hefner as the HS newspaper cartoonist. As the result of contracting polio at age 16, his grades suffered. Upon graduating he went to live with his grandparents and enrolled at Wright Junior College in Chicago. While here, he becomes an extra for the Lyric Opera and is a spear holder in Charlton Heston's big break Julius Ceasar filmed at the Elks Memorial in Chicago. After 2 years he was admitted to Michigan State University. There he earned a BA & MA studying lithography with John S. deMartelly and painting (and partied) with Charles Pollock, Jackson’s older brother, who always wore a black hat even when dancing; Charles loved the blues. Petersen continued his love of cartooning and designed covers for the MSU Student Magazine, The Spartan. Petersen also marries his first wife. Petersen first exhibited paintings and prints in 1951: Detroit Art Institute; Award, Terry Art Institute, Miami; two Purchase Awards, National Print Exhibition, Grand Rapids Art Museum; First Prize, Boston Printmakers. In 1952 a painting was shown at Momentum Mid-Continental Chicago (an alternative challenge to staid 1950’s Art Institute Annuals: times when a deKooning purchase raised an uproar and all 5 Chicago papers denounced money wasted in editorials). Petersen’s painting was reproduced in the then top art magazine Art Digest. In 1952 Petersen was drafted by the US Army and sent to Korea. Petersen was then sent on to Hokkaido, Japan. He described the land as looking like the Midwest with "USA-type barns with silos, behind them bamboo & backed by Hokkusai ink-on-silk mountains." Here he learned to write characters with brush under Master Tahara. At this time Petersen's first son, Edwin is born back in Michigan. In Kyoto, he was entranced by ancient Noh plays. He felt at home. Sculptor Tsuji led him to unknown, now famed, commercialized Ryoanji stone garden. Petersen returned to the US (his wife filed for divorce while he is still in Japan) in 1955 and lived in Oakland, California, before the As or the Raiders, when the Art Museum was a loft above the Civic Auditorium, when, as Gertrude Stein said, “there was no there there.” From 1955-57 Petersen along with Mel Strawn founded the Bay Printmakers Society. He resumed exhibiting: International Color Lithography, Cincinnati Art Museum; Gravures Americaines d’aujourd’hui, Paris; & received an MFA on the GI Bill (with Nathan Oliveira) from the California College of Arts and Crafts where Diebenkorn was on the faculty. Petersen meets Kerouac, Gary Snyder, Phil Whalen, Ginsberg, McClure, and Rexroth. Petersen’s now famous “Stone Garden” essay is published in Evergreen Review. Kerouac’s Dharma Bums comes out. Petersen’s buddy Gary Snyder is Japhy Ryder, Petersen in Rol Sturlason. Petersen becomes an editor and illustrator for the Berkeley Bussei, a publication put out by the Berkeley Buddhist Church and maintains a store front studio. The Bussei published Kerouac’s first Haiku poems. When asked to teach at CCAC, Petersen declines and opts to return to Japan via the freighter “Sea Dragon” late in 1957. Jack Kerouac writes to Rev. Imamura’s wife Jane, November 1957, “ If and when you write to Will Petersen, tell him I think he is a great man and to keep up the good work.” In 1957 Japan, there are still ox carts on downtown streets, some bicycles and a few cars. Petersen gets a bit part in a B-movie about motorcycle man, Honda. He picks up more spare change as a bearded battlefield surgeon in a Samurai cut-em-up movie and then again as a side-burned ambassador signing a treaty. Yampolsky (Philip B. Yampolsky was Professor of East Asian Languages and Cultures at Columbia University until his death in 1996.) got juicier roles such as a drunken GI in barroom brawls. Petersen auditions for the role of the co-pilot “Freckles” to Richard Widmark in a big ticket movie Flight from Ashiya.(1964) Petersen teaches English at Japanese colleges and at Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. (Panasonic). Chairs a faculty of 30 or so American poets and painters all teaching English to Japanese businessmen. At the same time he locates an old Fuchs and Lang hand lithography press with stones. He resumes printmaking and makes what he calls “Stone Prints,” and begins working with poet Cid Corman on the first early issues of Origin magazine. Petersen designs the magazine's title graphic. In the 60’s Petersen translates Akutagawa’s A Fools Life (reprinted 3 times), Zeami’s 15th Century Yashima (referred to as a ground-breaking masterpiece), built a bark-roofed studio in the remote village of Yase, exhibited at the Kyoto Art Museum (received the famed Suda Award... the first time a print received this prestigious painting award), and was included in the Mainichi Newspapers’ “Best of the Year” exhibit. He also takes a Japanese wife and has two sons Ren and Sei. Petersen continues to study Japanese Noh drama with a local troupe and preforms recitals. Petersen returns to the USA in 1965 with his family and teaches drawing at Ohio State University. Petersen writes The Mask and excerpts are included in the Australian anthology Best from The Ear in A Wheatfield. He becomes friends with the printmaker Sidney Chafetz who also teaches at the OSU. Petersen leaves OSU in 1969 to help set up the print shop for John Wilson’s Lakeside Studio in Michigan. He lives in a log cabin and prints for the studio until a job offer at West Virginia University comes his way. In 1970 Petersen moves his family to Appalachia. Morgantown, WV strangely feels like his 1950’s Japan life. There he becomes head of the printmaking department and becomes a favored professor among art students. He becomes a good friend of Tom Nakashima, now well known as a contemporary painter and educator and of Ben Freedman, a whimsical Klee cubist styled painter and draftsman of nutty rabbits & cats, a visual story teller all in dots, lines, collage, and broken color. Petersen separates from his Japanese wife and they eventually divorce. At the same time he meets Cynthia Archer then a printmaking graduate student at WVU, whom he later marries. Petersen quits teaching in 1977 and opens his own studio in Morgantown and begins printing for artists and doing workshops across the state. Archer completes her graduate degree and Petersen and Archer publish “Plucked Chicken” an arts and poetry magazine. At the same time they found Plucked Chicken Press, a fine art lithography print studio, and begin printing for Lakeside Studios. Inspired by Jack Lemon of Landfall Press, Chicago, Petersen moves the press to 212 N. Canal Street in Chicago in the fall of 1979. In a romantic old coffee warehouse loft on the Chicago River, with windows that faced the heart of the city, Petersen and Archer and the press spent 5 years editioning lithographs and publishing their own work along with the work of such noted Chicago artists as Richard Hunt, Martyl, Ruth Duckworth, Robert Middaugh, Margo Hoff, Thelma Heagstedt, Michael Croydon, William Conger, Harold Gregor, John Himmelfarb, Winifred Godfrey and David Driesbach as well as out of town artists, Tom Nakashima and Arthur Osver. The press threw print presentation parties that included poetry readings by local poets Douglas Macdonald, owner of Stone Circle Bookstore and Effie Mihopoulos as well as musicians, playwrights, belly dancers, and filmmakers. The parties brought dealers, clients, young artists, lawyers, doctors, and local Indian chiefs together. Plucked Chicken Magazine ceased publication with issue #6. In 1984 Petersen moved the press to Evanston, IL. Petersen continued to publish other artists but slowly began focusing on his own work and began painting. Petersen showed work at Fairweather Hardin Gallery in Chicago and at Anton Gallery in DC. and exhibited in Taipei’s International Print Exhibition, the British Biennial, the then Chicago International Art Fair and New Art Forms, and was commissioned by the Toronto Symphony to do a painting celebrating the premier performance of composer Murray Schafer’s Darkly Splendid Earth; The Lonely Traveler. This painting is reproduced on the cover of the CD. Petersen continued to work with the idea of a lonely traveler and a mysterious watcher in his paintings and prints. His “September Ridge” was published in, "Gary Snyder: Dimensions of a Life" and he was working on a translation of Japanese novelist Tsutsui’s The Fictives for Sam Francis’ Lapis Press up until his death on a clear blue sky morning, April Fool’s Day 1994. Collectors of Petersen’s work include Jacques Israelievitch, Concert Master, Toronto Symphony; author Fielding Dawson; Dr. Roy Schwitters, past director of the National Accelerator Lab, TX; PepsiCola; McDonald’s Corporate HQ; Harris Bank Boardroom; Peat Marwick, Illinois State Museum; Biblioteque Nationale, Paris; Arthur Anderson; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Bradford Museum, Yorkshire; SF Palace of the Legion of Honor; Philadelphia Museum; Baltimore Museum; The Art Institute of Chicago; New York University Special Collections: over 200 museum and university collections. The Oakton Community College, Ray Hartstein Campus, Skokie, Il has on display a permanent memorial exhibition for Will Petersen and The Plucked Chicken Press. A catalog is available. There is also a memorial collection for Petersen and the press housed at The Vivian and Gordon Gilkey Center for Graphic Arts at the Portland Museum of Art. © 2005 Cynthia Archer. Written for Jane Meyer Fine Arts Condition: Good, Originality: Original, Printing Technique: stone lithograph, Color: color, Features: Signed, Date of Creation: 1970, Medium: Lithograph, Year: 1970, Size: Small (up to 12in.), Subject: Figures

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