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Air Land Sea VI: Block of Sea, 1970

William Richard Crutchfield

American, 1932-2015
Sheet: 12-1/2 x 11-1/2 in. (31.75 x 29.21 cm.); Image: 10 x 4-1/2 (25.4 x 11.43 cm.)
Norton Simon Museum, Anonymous Gift
© 2011 William Crutchfield

Not on view

Beneath William Crutchfield’s whimsical subject matter and exquisite draftsmanship often lies a satirical commentary on humanity. The San Pedro–based artist uses a variety of media—sculpture, painting and prints—to harness his imagination, but he considers drawing the fundamental core to all of these pursuits. This emphasis on drawing was a natural fit for printmaking, and Crutchfield worked at both Gemini and Tamarind, beginning in the 1960s. Air Land Sea, a suite of 13 lithographs, was completed during his second visit as a guest artist at Tamarind (his first visit in 1963 yielded only one print, but he had since made two important series at Gemini in 1966). In the portfolio, Crutchfield employed his characteristic style by using tusche applied with a pen to create the inventive subject matter. The artist then had the printer apply various colors of ink to one roller to create the blended effect of the palette. Crutchfield’s interest in the relationship between man and machine was particularly suited to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s significant but controversial Art and Technology exhibition, held in 1971; Crutchfield produced its screenprinted poster and several illustrations for the catalogue.

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