Guy Diehl created his 2001 lithograph editions over a five-month period, again working in close collaboration with Magnolia Editions Master Printer, Rick Dula. Still Life with Canaletto required the layering of 20 individual drawings, each drawing representing a different color. The precise layering of these drawings provides a sense of faultless modeling and infuses the prints with deep, rich textures and the luminous color characteristic of Diehl’s work.
In Still Life with Canaletto, Diehl furthers his continuing investigation of form, light, and surfaces as well as exploring the interrelationship between past and present. By juxtaposing luscious magnolia blossoms with texts referencing the 18th century Italian painter, Canaletto, he subtly challenges the viewer to consider not only the formal properties of the print, but also the ways in which we maintain and construct ideas regarding beauty, art, and memory. The smaller, more intimate Still Life with Three Pears and Magnolia Bud with Glass operate in a similar manner. Although they bear a resemblance to turn-of-the-century photogravures, Diehl’s lack of nostalgia along with his use of contemporary glasses and vases renders these new works decidedly contemporary. They, like Canaletto, hover delicately between past and present, both embracing and skillfully updating the tradition of still life painting.
Still Life with Canaletto was printed at Magnolia Editions in Oakland, CA on a flatbed transfer press. Each of the 21 lithographic runs was drawn separately by Guy Diehl on translucent mylar. The drawings were transferred to plates via contact exposure. The prints were pulled individually, one color run (or rainbow) at a time. The artist made changes and refinements and added more runs to the print during the editioning. The final varnish coat was screen-printed by Thomas Wojak, The W.O.R.K.S., San Francisco, CA.