Sign of the Logos

Artist's Books
and
Related Materials

A Retrospective Exhibition
of Sol Invictus Press

November 19, 1998 - April 16, 1999

St. Mark's Library Special Collections
The General Theological Seminary of the Episcopal Church, New York

 

 

Introduction:
The Image- Words of
Sol Invictus Press

Beyond Borders

Exhibition Checklist

Painting, Image,
Likeness

 

Biography

Calligraphy

Painting

Seals

Sol Invictus Press

Writings

Exhibition Checklist


The Jesus Prayer

The Jesus Prayer is a short invocation associated with the Hesychasts, a late medieval sect of Byzantine monks, many of whom were icon painters. The prayer, which was known as early as the fifth or sixth century, reads, "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me," though slight variations in wording are common. By the thirteenth century, the Hesychasts were using it in conjunction with meditative techniques of breathing and concentration upon the region of the heart. These techniques were intended to produce a state of hesychia ("quiet") in which a vision of divine light was seen. The Hesychasts' first known teachers were the late thirteenth-century monk of Mt. Athos, Nikephoros the Solitary, and the monk Gregory of Sinai (d. 1347).

Though Byzantine mystical theology had long emphasized the importance of the vision of divine light, Hesychast techniques were attacked by some theologians as materialistic and superstitious. St. Gregory Palamas (ca. 1296-1359), a Mt. Athos monk, composed a defense, declaring that the human person is an integrated whole of body and soul. It was therefore entirely fitting, he wrote, that the body should participate in prayer.

Hesychast techniques may have been borrowed from the Sufis, who, in turn, may have adopted them from a pre-Muslim cult or imported them from India. The silently or audibly recited prayer helps maintain the rhythm of inhalation, holding of breath, and exhalation, and helps keep the mind focused. The vision of light

 

which the Hesychasts experienced was said to be the light of Christ's Transfiguration on Mt. Tabor and of the Second Coming. That this experience lies beyond words and dogmas is, for Arteni, its most significant feature. He sees in the Hesychast techniques similarities to Buddhist and Zen practice.

The images which Arteni selected for the Jesus Prayer cycle of drawings and books, and which he titles "Prayer of Jesus," contain traditional Orthodox iconic images as well as versions of the images transformed by Arteni's imagination. For him, these interpretations are part of an exploration of the many layers of meaning which exist behind every sign and symbol.



1. The Prayer of Jesus I



1992

Accordion folding format; 9 brush and sumi slate-blue ink, abstract monotypes, plus 1 colophon leaf and 1 title leaf; Japanese handmade paper. [11] leaves; 21 x 16". Edition size: 1.

One contribution of Byzantine theology to Christian spirituality is its teaching of theosis (deification), achieved through silent, uninterrupted prayer. Theosis, as taught by the Hesychasts, is preceded or accompanied by an experience of light. Arteni sees an affinity between the Hesychasts' silence of the heart and Zen samadhi or satori. Both Hesychasts and Zen monks, he notes, live in accordance with the principle of kenosis (non-violence and spiritual humility).

Accompanying each of the monotypes for The Prayer of Jesus I is an Arteni signature seal. Shown is the opening for "The Transfiguration" (left) and "The Crucifixion" (right). The light generated by the Transfiguration is called by St. Gregory Palamas "uncreated and divine radiance."

Accordion formats were invented by the Chinese and used mainly for Buddhist sutras and albums of calligraphy and painting.



2. The Prayer of Jesus II



1992

Accordion folding format; 9 collages and sumi ink paintings on Japanese handmade paper, plus 1 title leaf and 1 colophon leaf. [11] leaves; 21 x 16". Edition size: 1.

Arteni has written in Greek with a brush directly on the collages, each of which is accompanied by one of his signature seals. Shown is the opening for "The Resurrection" (left) and "The Anastasis" (right). The image of the Resurrection used by Arteni, following a Byzantine tradition, is of the three Marys (the Myrophores) bringing oils to Christ's tomb, which they find empty except for an angel. The Myrophores image may have appeared as early as the mid-third century at the Baptistery at Dura Europos.

The Greek word "Anastasis," which means "to rise" or "to raise," is used in Byzantine tradition to refer to Christ's Harrowing of Hell. The account is found in the apocryphal, fifth-century Gospel of Nicodemus, in which, prior to his resurrection, Christ confronts Satan and robs him of his captive souls, raising them out of Hell. The first soul saved is Adam's.

In the left-hand portion of "The Anastasis," Christ, holding a cross, is raising Adam and Eve, the sinuous figures on the right. In early Byzantine representations of the Anastasis, the figure of Eve is not always present.



3. World [Chinese character]



Undated

Single sheet. Brush and sumi ink and gouache on Japanese handmade paper. 38.5 x 24".

This is the Chinese "seal-script" character for "world." (Seal-script is a very ancient form of Chinese writing which was used at least as early as 600 B.C.) The cross, in Chinese, signifies the number ten, which represents "totality," "completeness," and "wholeness. "Arteni was attracted by the coincidental harmony of meanings between the three crosses in the Chinese character and the Christian symbol.



4. Buji (Non-action)



1996

Scroll format. Brush and sumi ink on handmade Japanese paper. 77 x 18".

Arteni calls his calligraphy "Meditation with a brush." Buji is the scroll which won the 1996 Japan Foreign Minister's Grand Prize in the international calligraphy competition organized by the Japan Calligraphic Art Academy.



5. Collages I



Undated

Accordion folding format, matted. Cut-outs from journals pasted with methyl-cellulose. [7] leaves; 8 x 8.5". Edition size: 1.

A suite of 7 collages on board.



6. Collages II



Undated

Accordion folding format, matted. Cut-outs from journals pasted with methyl-cellulose. [6] leaves; 8.5 x 8". Edition size: 1.

A suite of 6 collages on board.



7. Apocalypse



1996

Portfolio format. Brush and sumi ink, gouache, and watercolor on Chinese handmade paper. [27] leaves; 19 x 15". Edition size: 1.

This is a portfolio of studies on Chinese handmade paper for the clay monotype Apocalypse suite (see no. 46 a-c). The studies and the suite are composed of images described in the Book of Revelation. On the left-hand page is "Angel with a Stone" (18:21); on the right-hand page is "Archangel Michael and the Dragon" (12:7).



 

8. A Small Book Of Engraved Mountain Stone Seals



1993

Accordion folding format. Red and black Chinese sealpaste prints of soapstone seals. [22] leaves; 5 x 3.5". In silk drop-spine box with blank soapstone seal. Edition size: 1.

This is a book of seal engravings, including more than 100 versions of Arteni's name and nickname ("Crazy Hermit"), which he uses as his signature. The seals are made of soapstone. Arteni included the character for "mountain" in the title to emphasize the connection between the stone seals and the larger whole from which they came, and also because when the character for "mountain" is followed by the character for "stone," the two characters may be read as separate words or as one.

Shown is the title page. On the right is a seal-stone print of the name "Sol Invictus" in Chinese; the four characters read, "The Big Yang (Sun) Not Vanquished." At left is the book's title. The soapstone seal displayed was acquired to accompany the book. One end is carved into a dog's figure.



9. Encountering Sorrow

    -English translation from Chinese and Japanese by S. Arteni



1996

Accordion folding format. Red and black Chinese sealpaste prints of seal-script hand-carved soapstone seals. [15] leaves, i.e., gilt-edged shikishi boards; 10 x 6.5". Silk brocade boards. In silk drop-spine box with blank soapstone seal. Edition size: 1.

Arteni composed the text by combining inscriptions from ancient Chinese and Japanese paintings and poems. The title is a translation of "Li Sao" (usually translated as "The Lament," though it literally means "Encountering Sorrow"), the title of a famous poem by Qu Yuan (340-278 B.C.), who lived during the "Warring States" era. It is a poem about exile, integrity, and the spirit's incorruptibility.

On the right-hand page, the seal in the lower right-hand portion reads, "Heart [mind] like the autumn moon." On the left-hand page, the seal in the lower left-hand portion presents a saying of a 17th-century Chinese painter:

"These rules are no rules and therefore they are my rules."



10. A Large Book Of Recently Engraved Stone Seals

      -English translation from Chinese and Japanese by S. Arteni



1993

Accordion folding format. Red and black Chinese sealpaste prints from soapstone seals. [24] leaves; 10 x 6.5". Brocade silk boards. In drop-spine box with blank soapstone seal. Edition size: 1.

Arteni composed the two-poem text by combining inscriptions from ancient Chinese and Japanese paintings and poems. Each of the lines is formed by five or seven characters, a traditional Chinese and Japanese form. Shown is the title page for the poem "All Quite at Random." The long line of characters is the title; the small seal-stone print beneath it is Arteni's name; at left is the Chinese translation of "Sol Invictus."



11. A Book Of Collected Seal Script Carvings



1994

Accordion folding format. Red and black Chinese sealpaste prints from soapstone seals; "cicada wing" [light-toned ink] rubbings of inscriptions from sides of seals. [23 leaves]; 10.75 x 7.25. Edition size: 1.

Arteni took the texts of these carvings from Buddhist sayings. On the right-hand page, engraved in white-line against a black background, is a quote from the Zen Master Muso Soseki's (1275-1351) satori poem:

"For many years I dug the earth in order to see the blue sky."

In Zen tradition, when an individual achieves enlightenment (satori), s/he writes a poem about the moment.

On the left-hand page, engraved in white-line against the black square to the right of the meditating figure is the phrase "Sitting quietly."



12. Ai Tai I's Carvings



1995

Accordion folding format. Red Chinese sealpaste prints from soapstone seals [36] leaves; 10 x 6.6". Edition size: 1.

This book contains the complete collection of the artist's seal carvings to 1995. "Ai Tai I" is Arteni's Chinese name.



13. Casual Writings By A Window

      -English translation from Chinese by S. Arteni



1995

Accordion folding format. Red Chinese sealpaste prints from "seal-script" carved soapstone seals, and bamboo stick and black sumi ink calligraphy. [46] leaves; 16 x 11". Brocade silk boards. In drop-spine box. Edition size: 1.

Casual Writings by a Window is a poem which Arteni composed by combining inscriptions from ancient Chinese paintings and poems. These he either carved in stone and printed, or wrote with a bamboo stick. For the seals, Arteni has adopted an ancient style of Chinese writing invented at least as early as 600 B.C. and whose various forms had become standardized by 200 B.C. Now, it is used only for seals and is called "seal-script." Here, Arteni plays with the traditional seal-script forms, sometimes intentionally distorting them to the point of illegibility, thereby transforming them into designs of almost pure form. For the text, he has used a semi-cursive style of Chinese character. However, instead of employing a brush, the traditional means of forming these characters, he has used a bamboo stick.

Arteni's calligraphic style incorporates elements from Japanese and Chinese traditions, as well as his own interpretations of them. The mingling of the two styles, he feels, is natural, since in earlier centuries, the characters of both languages were essentially identical, though a Chinese and a Japanese would pronounce them differently.

On the right-hand page, the two seals and the line of calligraphy read, "Measure of not understanding" and "If solitude is deep, there is no world of people." On the left-hand page, the seal and calligraphy read, "Whatever I have received from the heritage of the masters, I dare not forget."



14. Seal I

Undated

Soapstone seal. 2.25 x 1.5 x 1.5". Double-sided gago in (nickname seal); one side carved in relief, other side in intaglio.

Shown is Arteni's gago in (Japanese for "nickname seal") carved in relief. It reads, "Crazy Hermit's Seal," after the nickname Arteni has chosen.



15. Seal II

Undated

Soapstone seal. 1.13 x 2.75x 1.25". Inshu in (seal traditionally used to begin painting, calligraphic work, or document); legend carved in relief.

The legend reads, "A thought of the past becomes a forest."

Four Icon Scrolls

The iconography of the icon scrolls is based on Russian podlinniki ("how-to" manuals for icon painting) and on Ivan Schneider's and Peter Fedorov's Technika Ikonopisi ("The Technique of Icon Painting"), published in Paris ca. 1920.



 

16. Studies of Icons



Scroll format. Brush and sumi ink and gouache on Chinese handmade paper. 19.5 x 86". Edition size: 1.

Shown is an image of the angel Gabriel.



17. Studies of Icons



Scroll format. Brush and sumi ink on Chinese handmade paper. 19.5 x 86". Edition size: 1.

Shown is Elisha witnessing Elijah's ascension to Heaven in a chariot of fire drawn by horses of fire.



18. Studies of Icons



Scroll format. Brush and sumi ink on Chinese handmade paper. 19.5 x 86". Edition size: 1.

Shown is a portrait of St. George and the Dragon; in the upper right is Jesus's hand reaching down in assistance.



19. Studies for the Prayer of Jesus



Scroll format. Brush and sumi ink on Japanese handmade paper. 152 x 12". Edition size: 1.

At the extreme left is a portrait of Jesus; on the extreme right is God's hand; next to it is the Descent from the Cross.



20. Crucifixion



Undated

Sumi ink pochoir on vellum. 9.5 x 8".



21. Transfiguration



Undated

Brush and sumi ink on Japanese handmade paper. 38.5 x 24".


Variations on the Transfiguration theme:





22. Crucifixion



Undated

Brush and sumi ink on Japanese handmade paper. 16.5" x 12.5".



23. Anastasis



Undated

Brush and sumi ink on Japanese handmade paper. 16.5" x 12.5".



 

24. Hodigitria I



Undated

Brush and sumi ink on Japanese handmade paper. 16.5 x 12.5".

Hodigitria is the Greek word for "Mother of God."



25. Hodigitria II



Undated

Brush and sumi ink on Japanese handmade paper. 16.5" x 12.5".


26. The Prayer Of Jesus III



Undated

Accordion folding format. 10 bamboo stick and sumi ink drawings on Japanese handmade paper, plus 1 title leaf and 1 colophon leaf. [12] leaves; 11.25 x 9". Edition size: 1.

This is a maquette for The Prayer of Jesus albums in accordion formats (nos. 1, 2, 4). Written above the image on the left is the Greek word for "Pentecost."



27. The Prayer Of Jesus IV



1992

Accordion folding format. 9 brush and sumi ink drawings on Japanese handmade paper, plus 1 title leaf and 1 colophon leaf. [11] leaves; 21 x 16". Edition size: 1.

On the left is shown the Transfiguration; on the right, the Crucifixion.



28. Vices And Virtues



1992

Coptic binding format. Brush and sumi ink drawings on Japanese handmade paper. [18] leaves; 21 x 16". Edition size: 1.

Shown are the plates for Sloth, symbolized as a pig (left), and Stupidity, symbolized as a goat (right).



29. Apocalypse



Undated

Single sheet. Brush and sumi ink and gouache on Japanese handmade paper. 38 x 24".

This wash is part of a study for a projected book of prints on scenes and images from the Book of Revelation. It will be titled Apocalypse.

Variations on the Apocalypse theme:

The Apocalypse triptych



Mixed technique on paper laid on wire mesh
Each panel 30 x 24”



30. Anastasis



Undated (Descent into Hell/Rising of Christ and His Raising of the Dead) Single sheet. Brush and sumi ink and gouache on Japanese handmade paper. 38.5 x 25".

Flanking a figure of Christ holding a scroll are two groups of the Just (as they have come to be known in art historical literature), including David, Solomon, and John the Baptist, whom Christ has raised from Hell. In the painting's upper portion are two hills, which represent the earth's rending and the revelation of the world's foundations. In the lower left and right are figures of Adam and Eve.



31. Democratie (Arthur Rimbaud)



1996

Flutter format. Sanguine etching-ink and monotype calligraphy and images. [10] leaves; 16 x 11.5". Edition size: 1.

"Democratie" is one of Rimbaud's group of prose poems entitled Illuminations. In "Democratie," Rimbaud denigrates modern democracy, mocking the gullibility of the masses.

The flutter format is a type of accordion format popular in China during the Song dynasty (960-1279).



 

32. Cantique de Saint Jean (Stephane Mallarme)



1996

Sumi ink monotype images and sumi ink calligraphy. Paper handmade in China, Mexico (laid on wire mesh), and the Philippines. [10] leaves; 15.5 x 12.5". Edition size: 2. Copy: no. 1, with 3 additional artist's proofs monotypes.

Shown is a depiction of a winged John the Baptist looking at his own head. Traditional iconography for John usually depicts him in the desert dressed in a camelhair shirt (Matthew 3:4) and includes the images of an ax embedded in a tree (Matthew 3:10, Luke 3:9) and John's head on a plate (Matthew 14:10, 11).



33. Cantique de Saint Jean (Stephane Mallarme)

1996

Modified lithographic ink monotype images and modified lithographic ink calligraphy. Paper handmade in China, Mexico (laid on wire mesh), and the Philippines. [10] leaves; 15.5 x 12.5". Copy: no. 2, with 3 additional artist's proofs monotypes.

Arteni's image is composed of a rising sun and setting sun, referred to in the stanza on the right.

  • Two Artist's Proofs for Mallarme's Cantique de Saint Jean (nos. 32, 33)



34. Hand of God



Undated

Single sheet. Brush and sumi ink monotype on Chinese handmade paper.
12.5" x 9".



35. Salome with Saint John's Head



Undated

Single sheet. Modified lithographic ink for monotype on Chinese handmade paper. 12.5" x 9".



36. Laudes Creaturarum (Saint Francis of Assisi)

      -English translation from Italian by Barbara Carle



1992

Unbound leaves. Brush and sumi ink drawings, hand-carved initials, and red Chinese sealpaste prints from signature seals; text printed in letterpress, Goudy Old Italian; all on Colombian handmade paper. [32] leaves; 23 x 15". Wrapper with brush and sumi ink images. In drop-spine box. Edition size: 26. Copy: no. 9. Acquired by St. Mark's Library.

For Arteni, archetypal symbols are the most potent visual expressions that humanity can form to communicate the world's continuously manifesting joy.

The book's wrapper when closed shows the Chrismon, a circle whose three radii are formed by an I and a X, the Greek initials of the name Jesus Christ. Arteni sees in it a similarity to the Hindu Wheel of Life. When the wrapper is opened, it reveals the Ichthys, a fish symbol used by early Christians, who may have borrowed it from pre-Christian cultures. There are specifically Eastern pre-Christian manifestations of the Ichthys which may have influenced Byzantine tradition. One of the Greek gods had been called Ichthys, and his death in the sea created an abundance of fish upon which his people fed. Another link, Arteni surmises, might be the Thracians, ancestors of the Balkan peoples, for whom the fish was sacred.



36 a.

The book's first image, the Alpha sign, is here made with a cross
forming the line on the right. Arteni saw the Alpha made in this way in a
Greek Orthodox icon painting.



36 b.

This image combines the form of an early (ca. 1500 B.C.) Chinese
character for "rain" with a Native American symbol for "abundance." In the
upper left is a signature seal of a cross surmounted by a bird. Arteni
remembers seeing this form of cross at rural crossroads in his native
Romania.



36 c.

The mountain outline, here symbolizing the "earth" of Francis's poem,
is shown with three peaks, after the traditional Japanese drawings of Mt.
Fuji.


 

36 d.

Arteni saw this form of the Omega in a Greek Orthodox icon painting.



37. The Large Emerging from the Small



1994

Accordion folding format. Brush and sumi ink drawings. [18] leaves, including 3 letterpress leaves printed in Goudy Old Italian, all on Colombian handmade paper. 15 x 12.5". Edition size: 1.

These are the first drawings for the Laudes Creaturarum (see no. 36). At left is an iconic portrait of Christ; at right, a name of God in the Greek Orthodox tradition ("the One who is") within a Zen circle. The Zen circle must be drawn in a single movement, without lifting the brush from the paper.



38. Wandering (Muso Soseki)

      -English translation from Japanese by W. S. Merwin and Soiku Shigematsu



1995

Accordion folding format. Brush and sumi ink monotypes. 10.75 x 9.5"; [46] leaves, including 2 letterpress leaves printed in Goudy Old Italian ; bound in blue silk boards. In silk drop-spine box. Edition size: 1.

The Zen Master Muso Soseki (1275-1351) was born in Ise, home of a pure form of Japanese architecture and enclosed forest clearings. Such clearings were planted with Zen gardens in a ritual use of space. (See no. 46 for Heidegger's allusion to this concept.) Soseki lived through the civil war which initiated the Ashikaga shogun dynasty.

The seal on the front page of Wandering, and the monotypes, are based on two Chinese characters written in seal-script styles, which form the word "pilgrim":

[like] clouds     [over] water  



39. Painting



Undated
Oil on canvas
16" x 22"
Adoration of the Magi


collage study for exhibit 39



12" x 16"

40. Painting



Undated
Oil on canvas
14" x 22"
Christ Washing the Disciples' Feet



collage study for exhibit 40



10" x 14"

41. Ink



Undated Accordion folding format. 16 brush and sumi ink monotypes on Japanese handmade paper. [18] leaves; 21 x 16". Edition size: 1. Arteni has translated his haiku to read, Daybreak Bearing up under its solitude To make ink



42. River Bank (Tu Fu)

      -English translation from the Chinese by Rewi Alley



1997

Accordion folding format. Brush and sumi ink monotypes and calligraphy. [46] leaves; 10.75 x 9.5". In drop-spine box. Edition size: 1.

Tu Fu (712-770) was a Chinese poet of the Tang dynasty who lived during the An Luchan Rebellion (755-757), a period preceded and followed by many years of political turbulence and social unrest. Tu Fu was a contemporary of two other famous Tang dynasty poets, Li Bo and Wang Wei. All three were high officials in the imperial bureaucracy and, during the upheavals at the imperial court, were banished to distant outposts of the empire. Much of their poetry speaks of the pain of exile.


River Bank

Here sits a man by
The river bank, who thinks
To return home; he is an
Ordinary scholar, drifting
Like a piece of cloud above;
At night, I am lonely
As the moon, but at sunset
I am still of good heart;
In these autumn winds
My illness gets better;
In past times, they were kind
To old horses, not sending
Them off on tiring journeys
After they had served so long.



 

43. Coda (Daniel Simko)



1997

Accordion folding format. Brush and sumi ink monotypes and calligraphy. Signed by the poet. [46] leaves; 10.75 x 9.5". In drop-spine box. Edition size: 1.

Daniel Simko is a Czech/Slovak poet living in New York City



 

44. Abbreviated Christological Cycle



Undated

Single sheet. Brush and sumi ink and gouache on Japanese handmade paper. 38.5" x 25"



45. Nativity



Undated

Single sheet. Brush and sumi ink and gouache on Japanese handmade paper. 38.5" x 25"



46 a-c. Apocalypse



1996

Portfolio of 19 sumi ink clay monotypes on synthetic paper, including 1 colophon leaf and 1 title leaf. [19] leaves; 21 x 17". Edition size: 2 copies. Copy: no. 1.

Arteni based the iconography of this work on the imagery in the Book of Revelation as depicted in the Kremlin Master's Apocalypse icon (ca. 1500) in the Dormition Cathedral in Moscow's Kremlin. The painting is the first known Orthodox Apocalypse, though some scholars believe that a slightly earlier example, no longer extant, may have existed.



46 a. "Ladder and Door to Heaven"



"A door stood open in heaven, and the voice that I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, 'Come up here, and I will show you what must take place hereafter'" (4:1). The plate is displayed upside-down because Arteni and the curator feel that its formal characteristics are best appreciated in this manner.



46 b. "Black Sun, Blood Moon"



When the lamb broke the sixth seal, there was a violent earthquake and "the sun turned black as a funeral pall and the moon all red as blood" (6:12).



46 c. "Angel with a Stone"



"Then a mighty angel picked up a stone like a great millstone and hurled it into the sea, saying, 'Thus shall Babylon, the great city, be sent hurtling down, never to be seen again'" (18:21). This plate, like 46 a, is displayed upside-down.



47 a-c. No-thing-ness



Undated

Portfolio of 9 sumi ink monotypes on Japanese handmade paper. [9] leaves; 29.5 x 21". Edition size: 1.

Arteni comments on this work: "Artists succeed in circumventing fate. Momentarily tasting transcendence, they are freed from human individuality. Artistic creation suspends Time. No, no-thing-ness, emptiness."



48 a-b. The Thinker as Poet (Martin Heidegger)



Unbound leaves. 29 pages of brush and sumi ink calligraphy, sumi ink drawings, and artist's handprint on Japanese handmade paper; text in bamboo stick and sumi ink. [5], 1-50, [6] pp.; 22 x 16". Brush and sumi ink calligraphed wrapper. In drop-spine box. Edition size: 1.

In this work, Heidegger describes the artist, poet, and philosopher as "sayers" (i.e., tellers of sagas) and as persons who speak "more daringly" than others. Arteni is attracted to Heidegger because he "accepted the notion of mystery."

Arteni also finds in Heidegger specific affinities with Zen. Heidegger elsewhere has written that every person is like a piece of potter's clay "thrown" into the clearing of a dense forest. The "clearing," a metaphor for every person's life, is a gift of sacred space in which we dwell for a time. In Japan, Zen monks would make forest clearings and, in a ritual use of space, design and plant gardens in them. The changing seasons and accidents of nature were expected to play a role in shaping the gardens' forms.

Shown are two of the book's double-page openings. On the left is a recreation of a famous drawing by the Zen Master Sen Gai (1750-1838).



 

Technical Terms

Monotype -



Clay Monotype -



Sumi -


Shikishi -



Single image produced from ink on plate. Arteni produces monotypes with brush and ink on glass or plexiglass; he prints the plates by hand.

Monotype image printed from wet clay slab, to which mixture of paint or dye and clay has been applied; print is sprayed with fixative.

Japanese black ink; occasionally bluish-black, brownish-black, purplish-black.

Japanese calligraphy board (paper pasted to board).

© 2001 Stefan Arteni
& Myriam S.P.de Arteni
top   | Biography | Calligraphy | Painting | Seals | Retrospective
Sol Invictus Press | Writings | Site Map | |