The Portland Society for Calligraphy Presents:

The Calligraphic Line

A workshop with Brody Neuenschwander

Saturday, June 15 through Sunday, June 16, 2019  (2 Days)

9 AM to 4 PM both days

Location:  Reed College, Cooley Gallery

This workshop is appropriate for Intermediate to Advanced students

Tuition: $150 members, $180 non-members (includes 10 half sheets of Arches text wove) 

Supply Fee: $10.00, payable to the instructor

Registration opens April 15, 2019

(Do not postmark registrations before this date)
Registration Form

Supply List

About this Workshop

The line and its expressive possibilities are the raw materials of calligraphy.  In this course we will examine a variety of ways in which the line can be developed in order to increase its expressive power as well as its graphic quality.

This basis of my thinking on the calligraphic line is the result of years of thought on Arabic, Chinese and Japanese calligraphy, as well as on cursive hands from medieval Europe. We will also look at how Hebrew calligraphy can be modified and given new expressive energy. We will look at the principle of flow and ligatures and the development of alternative letterforms.  Questions of legibility and function will be addressed, as well as the question of calligraphy as a fine art.

This workshop is intended to raise more questions than it can answer.  Final results will be less important than getting new thought processes started.

About the Instructor

Brody Neuenschwander was born in Houston, Texas in 1958. While completing his doctorate  German art history in London, he studied calligraphy at the Roehampton Institute. 

He began his professional career as assistant to Donald Jackson. The English film director, Peter Greenaway, asked him to provide live-action calligraphy for the film “Prospero’s Books”. Greenaway asked pertinent and challenging questions: “Can calligraphy be charged with emotions and historical associations? Can it represent in visual terms sound patterns of the language? Can it explore the tense region between text and image?”

In 1990 Neuenschwander met the German theoretician Hans-Joachim Burgert. Burgert replaces traditional Western standards of precision and regularity by a new formal language, one that is much closer to the esthetic judgments inherent in Arabic and Chinese calligraphy. 

For Neuenschwander this new theory was a revolution. Suddenly the calligraphy of the East, which had always exerted an enormous attraction, could be analyzed and understood, not linguistically, but visually. The image-nature of these writing systems could surface. Arabic and Chinese calligraphy have influenced his work ever since.

In recent years Neuenschwander has continued his studies of Arabic/Islamic and Chinese/Japanese calligraphy. In the project called “A Brush with Silence” calligraphers from the world’s many writing traditions are brought together for a silent calligraphic happening. A television series on the origins and future of the world’s great calligraphic traditions is also in the pipeline.

Neuenschwander lives in Bruges, Belgium and has taught and exhibited throughout Europe, the United States and Japan.


Want to know more about a workshop or have one to suggest?

Contact us at:
Ingrid Slezak, Workshop Chairperson

PSC Workshops
1934 NE Hancock Street
Portland, OR 97212