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June 06, 1973 - Image 5

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1973-06-06

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Wednesday, June 6, 1973


Page Five

Germans express emotions
in heavy contrast graphics
There is a natural visual conflict between black and white images
on canvas or a sheet of paper-the totality versus the total absence
of color. Such is the toet of most simple graphics.
Durer, in his woodcuts, introduced fine lines and shading, shaping
his objects into ple-isant, three-dimensional forms, softening the con-
trast-a practice that I s carried on until the beginning of the 20th
century. It was in the first decade of this century that the German
Expressionist Graphists began pouring out their souls on paper, using
the black-white conflict to their advantage, heightening rather than
softening the intensity by use of harsh angular strokes or heavy black
and white areas. By utilizing the techniques of woodcut, metal plate,
and lithograph, in addition to their canvases, the Expressionists ex-
plored new means with which to convey their inner feelings.
The exhibit of German Expressionist graphics, currently on dis-
play at the University Museum of Art ranges from the severity of such
artists as Christian Rohlfs and Max Beckmann to the lighter fanta-
Summer Daily

sies of Paul Klee and Wassily Kandinsky, though I do not consider
the latter two to be in the same category as other artists on display,
their works being of a more whimsical nature, brightly colored and
cheerful, mental rather than emotional.
Of course, some of the Expressionist works also have color, hand
tinted, as in Erich Heckel's "Self-Portrait," where the woodcut print
was overpainted with somber watercolors, flatly applied in order to
intensify the mood rather than for the sake of "prettying" the compo-
These graphics were not meant to be beautiful. They were per-
sonal statements. And if the resulting work happened to be also beau-
tiful-fine; if not - no matter, so long as the meaning was there.
I found it interesting that the German Expressionists flourished
for the most part during the First World War, a period that found
many artists, not only in Germany, involved in producing war and
propaganda posters.
Germany was well known for her fine graphic artists, like Lucian
Bernhard and Ludwig Hohlwein, who crystalized the concept of the
poster as an art form, applying their talents to the war effort in
beautiful posters. But the German Expressionists did not participate
in the war, in the propaganda, in the cold, shiny heroics. Instead, in
their buildings, still-lifes and portraits, they revealed the burning sen-
sitivity beneath the German armor, expressing, copy after copy, a
bit of heart.

Selstibildnis mit Pfeife (Self-portrait with a
pipe) by Max Pechstein
woodcut (1921)

Record Release -Ptamblings ...

gently; it was a strong, visceral voice not
easily forgotten. They cut a debut album
with Columbia Records, but for some rea-
son fame never reached Good News.
Still with Columbia, Michael Bacon is
now striking it out on his own with the
release of Bringing It Home, a collection
of ballads that nicely accentuates all of
the sweet gentleness he previously con-
tributed to Good News.
It is an album that strongly reminded
me of early James Taylor, until I re-
cognized the Good News connection.
Bacon now writes his own lyrics that
speak of love relationships (both satis-
fied and unrequited) using constant refer-
ence to Nature and occasional mention of
the Lord.
His plots travel from the album's open-
er "Best Friend", a fairly typical story
about falling in love with a best friend's
woman, to "The Orphan Song," a ballad
about a man who when left homeless be-
cause his two parents commit suicide
finds a "lady" to be his wife, his "mother,
father . . . preacher, teacher . . , my
doctor, my'lawyer, my secret love-mak-

er . . ." to "Betsy's Got the Blues" where
he sings (ironically) "we've got to find
her some good news .
His Nature theme becomes especially
apparent in "Lullaby" where he sings to
a woman he's about to leave:
The same sun that sets on me
Is going to shine on you
The same wind that wisps your hair
I'll feel the blowing through
The same rain that falls on you
Is going to rain there too
And if you know anything
You know that I love you -
Backing Bacon on vocals and instru-
mentals are 30 (yes, THIRTY) artists
which bring to the album a rich conglom-
eration of sounds from guitar, keyboards,
drums, percussion, woodwinds, trumpet,
moog, harp and strings.
If you're an exclusive high-energy rock
and roll freak, obviously this album won't
interest you. But if you dig the melan-
choly sounds and lyrics of artists in the
vein of James Taylor and John Denver
this album is definitely worth your listen.
Do it!

MICHAEL BACON - Bringing It Home
(Monument KZ 32217)
Back around '68 when I was still in
high school, Detroit's Chessmate coffee-
house introduced me to two rather young
and awkward but surprisingly accom-
plished musicians. Larry and Michael
(they called themselves "Good News")
combined the melodic strains of guitar
and violincello with wholesome Biblical
lyrics to create a sound that was clearly
unpretentious and unique.
I later saw them perform (and this
time it was perform not just play) at Ann
Arbor's now defunct Canterbury House.
Larry was the talkative one, always jok-
ing and laughing with audiences; Michael
was quiet - by no means aloof, but ser-
enely quiet. They complimented each
other well. Larry's voice was somewhat
twangy and harsh. Michael sang softly,

Concert tips

.......,.... rJr. .r... i .... r........ s.

VAL 1972 (Atlantic SD 2-502)
Early in September '72, Ann Arbor
hosted an unprecedented phenomenon in
outdoor concerts - 15,000 people gathered
at Otis Spann Memorial Field for three
days of layed-back listening and high-en-
ergy boogying with many of today's most
prominent and progressive blues and jazz
This album gathers in its grooves all of
the ecstatic, soul-felt communal vibes
that flowed between performers and their
audiences. You feel as if you're there
again, hearing artists like Bonnie Raitt,
Howlin' Wolf, Otis Rush, Muddy Waters,
Dr. John, and Luther Allison. It feels good.
Daily Irs Editor

SAVOY BROWN-Eastern Michigan University presents in an outdoor
concert Savoy Brown, Siegel-Schwall Blues Band, Dr. Hook and the
Medicine Show, and Manfred Mann Saturday, June 9, in Rynearson
Stadium. Tickets available at Ann Arbor Music Mart and McKenny
Union Ticket Office.
,e""--."ee-,,' ""'1npw'e'.. - gvw. "m '5e1 7/ o

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