Limited edition prints
This collection of limited edition prints in The View From Lookout Mountain are printed on 505gsm weight Somerset Velvet rag paper. Somerset is the premiere grade of printmaking paper from the historic St. Cuthbert’s Mill in the UK. Each piece is hand-signed and numbered.
“For my series 'The View From Lookout Mountain', I want to reanimate experiences I’ve had and look at them from a different vantage point. The simplicity of the pure blacks centres my mind and opens me to a new awareness of the expressive potential in mark-making. I find the work cathartic and liberating.”
- Carla Tak
Edition 1 (centre): 42 x 37 inches, edition of 10
Edition 2 (right)): 28 x 25 inches, edition of 15
Edition 3 (left): 14 x 12.5 inches, edition of 20
The View From Lookout Mountain
Ask anyone where the craziest people live and they’ll tell you California. Ask anyone in California where the craziest people live and they’ll say Los Angeles. Ask anyone in Los Angeles where the craziest people live and they’ll tell you Hollywood. Ask anyone in Hollywood where the craziest people live and they’ll say Laurel Canyon. And ask anyone in Laurel Canyon where the craziest people live and they’ll say Lookout Mountain. So I bought a house on Lookout Mountain.
- Joni Mitchell
In 1969, Carla Tak, then 15, left Vancouver for Los Angeles, opting to live with a sculptor boyfriend 20 years her senior. The relationship, a tangle of precocious intelligence and competing wills, didn’t last. But Tak adopted LA and its 1970s grit and glamour, its restless spirit, as her own. For the next 20 years plus, she lived in the city and while her art practice didn't begin until she returned to Vancouver, LA got under her skin and stuck to her senses. Her memories of that period are a storehouse of her early psychological growth, the journey of self awareness that eventually led her to embrace abstract art as a tool for self reflection and personal growth.
For her new collection of limited edition prints titled The View From Lookout Mountain, Tak makes a deft metaphorical association to the geographical source of so much of that era's rebellious creative spirit. Joni Mitchell’s home on Lookout Mountain, and the whole of Laurel Canyon, was a creative arcadia of independent artists determined to break free of commercial expectations and tell a more personally expressive story. The art that emerged was strong-willed, moody and psychologically fraught. The thrilling emotional spirit of that place and period still resonates.
Tak’s intriguing collection of rough and raw monochromatic prints in Lookout Mountain are an epic journey into self exploration. The work is a window into Tak’s wondrous private world, an engrossing cosmology of shapes and markings and rhythmic passages that ripple and roam through each piece. The contrast between Tak’s rich black web of markings and the purity of the surrounding paper lends the images an air of zen spiritualism, as if a centering device to allow some deeper sense of presence. The series draws on Tak’s impressively coloured Mulholland canvases but the limited edition prints - purposefully stripped of colour - have a more intimate and meditative aspect. The work merits close attention and slow reading.
Printed on heavy stock rag paper, the weight and texture of each piece - the power in its tactile physical presence - adds to the strength of Tak’s work. The images bristle with a cutting scrawl of markings as if old world intaglio etchings. The deep black ink has a visual bite and lures us into the intricacy of the work. As with Lee Krasner and Joan Mitchell (the other Mitchell superhero), Tak has the keen ability to craft involving abstracted worlds that register as a profound contemplative experience. In the wild tangle of her truth, Tak is showing us the way to liberty.
- Barry Dumka
35 x 31 inch image on 42 x 37 Somerset paper
Edition of 10
21 x 19 inch image on 28 x 25 Somerset paper
Edition of 15
7 x 6.5 inch image on 14 x 12.5 Somerset paper
Edition of 20