Dirk Hagner ~ California

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Dirk Hagner, Printmaking Arts: "For an artist there are always projects to work on. Things which do not leave us alone, which have to be tried and brought to a conclusion. Often, they are not part of an ongoing body of work. Projects have a broadening and sometimes liberating effect on the work as they tend to widen the gamut of expression and technique. Many times they lead to new directions to be pursued in depth and yield new bodies of work."

Pleated Tidings
By Dirk Hagner
San Juan Capistrano, California: Inkswine Press, [2018]. Edition of 15.

13.75 x 5.125" closed, extends to 13.75 x 44". Vertical accordion. Woodcut in 3 colors. Letterpress text on 250 gms rag paper. Bound in paper-covered boards with twine wrap closure. Signed and numbered by the artist.

Dirk Hagner: "This a vertical accordion book … features a quote from William Butler Yeats: 'I have spread my dreams under your feet; tread softly for you tread on my dreams.'

"The back of this piece folds into a horizontal triangle that acts like a stand-off when the book is pinned through aligned eyelet holes to a wall - its intended way of display."

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Ship of Fools: High Crimes and Biggly Misdemeanors

By Dirk Hagner
San Juan Capistrano, California: Inkswine Press, [2018]. Edition of 10.

6 x 8 x .5" with aluminum spiral binding on all sides. Black covers. Rusted steel plate on front cover. Laid in lidded black box 8.75 x 10.75" with titles in white lettering. Signed and numbered by the artist.

Dirk Hagner: "A guide for imbecilic leaders unencumbered by the thought process. Coal-black covers with rusted steel cover plate, and a stable genius aluminum spiral binding. Simple no-elite design, type in ALL CAPS. ... Perfect for small hands and small minds. Comes in a dedicated box. Sorry — no free hats."

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Quotation by William Shakespeare
Book design by Dirk Hagner
San Juan Capistrano, California: Dirk Hagner, [2016]. Edition of 15.

11.75 x 4"; single opening. Letterpress printed. Bound in black-paper-covered boards with title in red on front board. Triangular pull out on back board for displaying upright. Laid in white two piece craft box with title on lid. Signed and numbered by the artist.

Dirk Hagner: "The subject is Shakespeare's 'Is this a dagger I see before me?' from Macbeth."

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By Dirk Hagner
San Juan Capistrano, California: Dirk Hagner, 2014. Edition of 35.

Triangular shaped book: 5 x 5 7" closed: 5 x 42" extended. Printed on 250 gms 100% rag paper. Bound in paper covered boards with ribbon tie closures. In black lidded box. Signed and numbered by the artist.

Dirk Hagner: "This new artist book is a americanized play on one of the most well-known koans of Zen Buddhism. It reads: "When you meet the Buddha on the road, driving a Chevy, kill him!"

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Sengai's Universe
By Dirk Hagner
San Juan Capistrano, California: Dirk Hagner, 2014. Edition of 30.

7 x 10"; 3 fold accordion structure. Letterpress printed on 250 gm rag paper. Text in English and Japanese. Bound in paper over boards with inset titles in English and in Japanese. Signed and numbered by Hagner.

Dirk Hagner: "Sengai's Universe is based on the Japanese Zen monk Sengai's 18th century famous brush painting of the universe. The text that follows is used in the book, in English and Japanese.

"For more interest I made it reversible. It can be read from right to left, as it really should be with the Japanese text on the left. However, it can be put upside down and read western style, left to right, with the English text on the left. Important is to maintain the sequence of circle, triangle and square."

This is Sengai's depiction of the universe. The circle represents the infinite, and the infinite is at the basis of all beings. But the infinite in itself is formless. We humans, who are endowed with senses and intellect, demand tangible forms. Hence a triangle. The triangle is the beginning of all forms. Out of it first comes the square. A square is the triangle doubled. This doubling process goes on infinitely and we have the innumerable multiplicity of things, which is called ‘the ten thousand things’, that is, the universe.


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By Dirk Hagner
San Juan Capistrano, California: Dirk Hagner, [n.d.]. Edition of 25.

5.75 x 3.75 closed, extends to 24.5 x 15.5". Letterpress printed on 100% cotton paper. Bound in paper-covered boards. Laid in black storage box with title printed in white and handwritten edition number on lid. Signed and numbered by the artist.

Dirk Hagner: "Wordplay on the Buddhist notion that there is no 'there' - only a 'here.' Whenever one gets 'there' one is actually 'here.' Tomatoes, potatoes ..., either, neither ..."

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By Dirk Hagner
San Juan Capistrano, California: Dirk Hagner, [n.d.]. Edition of 30.

11.25 x 7.25" closed, extends to 11.75 x 30". Accordion structure with four folds. Letterpress printed on 100% cotton paper. Black paper-covered boards with silver titling and multicolored thread tie closure. Housed in black lidded box with title in white and hand written edition number on lid. Signed and numbered by the artist.

Dirk Hagner: "The album uses a quote from Polish poet Wislawa Szymborska employing texting as a means to allow use of larger type in the letterpress process than would be normally possible. 'All is mine and nothing owned for memory, and mine only while I look.' Much like a jpeg photograph the words compress when texted to fewer letters; however, when read, it 'resurrects' to the full wording. It allowed the effective use of some pied wood type."

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Dirk Hagner SOLD / Out of print Titles:  

American Totentanz
By Dirk Hagner San Juan Capistrano, California: Dirk Hagner, 2017. Edition of 5. 22.5 x 30" (57.2 x 76.2 cm"). Full bleed woodcut prints in up to 8 colors. Hand printed on 250 gm Stonehenge Kraft rag paper, to deckle edges. Bound in Naugahyde.

Statement: "Although Hans Holbein der Jüngere published the popular theme of 'Totentanz' (Dance of Death) over 490 years ago in 1526 as a series of small woodcuts in book form in Southern Germany, the 'Danse Macabre' theme first appeared in Germany and France in the 14th century. The 'Totentanz' depicts persons from all walks of society, from the elites to the masses, as death teases and beckons them to follow along in the dance into the grave. It is a reminder that at the end we are all mortal, that death is the great equalizer.

"Since then, there has been a recurring tradition in music and poetry as well as the visual and performing arts to periodically revisit this theme in a contemporary context. Strangely enough, there appears to be no such tradition in American art and to many people in the United States, the subject remains unfamiliar.

"In his print series 'AMERICAN TOTENTANZ', Master Printmaker Dirk Hagner presents a contemporary version of this ageless theme. Hagner’s project, over 3 years in the making is composed of 24 scenes of woodcuts in up to 8 colors, and was released two prints at a time. The suite pairs sets of 2 prints, each including one line of a simple rhyming couplet that links the prints together.

"The suite does not follow the sequence or quantity of Holbein’s 'Totentanz' exactly. As is to be expected, many of the characters important in Holbein’s time have changed, and are no longer relevant in our lives today. However, some have remained the same over the centuries. As Death was frequently depicted appearing with a musical instrument, Hagner follows that tradition using American instruments when possible."
(SOLD/Out of Print)

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By Dirk Hagner
San Juan Capistrano, California: Dirk Hagner, 2017. Edition of 5.

23.75 x 9.5" closed, extends to 162"; 16 pages. Accordion structure with removable red paper spine. Woodcuts. Paper covered boards. Signed and numbered by the artist.

Dirk Hagner: "The unjust war started by the Bush and Blair administrations against Iraq in 2003 continue to haunt and affect everybody who is alive today. If directly involved or not does not make any difference: We all are affected by the immense suffering and the consequences of the war and what it has brought home. It has been estimated that over 1.2 million people were killed during that war, and millions more maimed, physically and mentally. As a result of the war the killing in Iraq goes unabated. While the Masters of War enjoy their lavish retirements tens of thousands of American vets returned physically or mentally disabled, never to fit into society again, their minds and bodies spoiled by what they saw, what they did, and what was done to them. There are no numbers on the psychologically and bodily afflicted Iraqis, but we know it must be multiples of the killed and maimed.

"While artists used to glorify war for their patrons through history, this changed with printmakers such as Callot, Goya, and Dix a long time ago. Ever since then artists, and printmakers in particular, have spoken out against human depravity and documented the impact war has on us.

"This work consists of three reduction woodcuts, each overprinted by a screen print. Next to the panels run woodcut panels of Lee Hazelwood's 'Boots' lyrics."

These boots were made for walking and that's just what they'll do. These boots are gonna walk all over you …

(SOLD/Out of Print)

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Page last update: 11.28.18


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