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News photographs permeate our visual environment—a morning read of the newspaper, a commuter’s view of tiny tumbnails on an iPhone while on the train, a lunch break spent scanning newsfeeds on the computer. Approaching John Sparagana’s exhibition “Crowds and Powder,” I immediately recognized the source material and felt as if it were part of my media routine …Read More
Columbia College Center for Book and Paper Arts, Chicago
“Social Paper,” at the Columbia College Center for Book and Paper Arts (CBPA), illuminated how papermaking has been used by artists, activists, citizens and designers to address social ills. Organized by curator Jessica Cochran and professor Melissa Potter, the exhibition revealed the interdisciplinary practices and multiple roles of socially concerned artists as micro-business managers, educators, historians. …Read More
“The Enchanted World of German Romantic Prints” was a landmark exhibition for an American museum. Not only did it feature 19th-century German art, a rarity in and of itself, but it concentrated on prints to the exclusion of other media. …Read More
Edvard Munch is widely known for his iconic images of turn-of-the-century angst, pain and sorrow. The year 2013 marked the 150th anniversary of the artist’s birth, and institutions across the United States and Europe mounted more than a dozen Munch-related exhibitions (an equal number of catalogues and books also appeared), including two ambitious exhibitions of the graphic work put together by the Munch Museum in Oslo and the Kunsthaus Zürich. …Read More
"Ornament Doesn’t Need Little Flowers: Anton Würth and Engraving in the 21st Century"
Snite Museum of Art, University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana
Fig. 1. Robert Nanteuil and Gilles Rousselet, Louis XIV, en buste, au centre d’une composition allégorique (Portrait bust of Louis XIV at the center of an allegorical composition) (1667) and Anton Würth, N-Predella III (2012), engraving, 66.5 x 75.6 cm. Image courtesy C.G. Boerner and the artist.
Anton Würth is a contemporary German artist who employs the antiquated and labor-intensive medium of engraving to dismantle the pictorial conventions denoting power. A group of prints recently on view at the Snite Museum at the University of Notre Dame document his engagement with the 17th-century engraver Robert Nanteuil, best known for his portraits of the court of Louis XIV. …Read More
In 1965 Donald Judd published “Specific Objects,” an article that explained “the new three-dimensional work” then being produced by a cohort of like-minded artists. Unlike conventional painting and sculpture, which Judd proclaimed to have served the purpose of a “container,” the new work was about the object itself. …Read More
This recent exhibition at Carrie Rowland Gallery, an artist-run apartment gallery in Richmond, presented the work of Christian Gregory, Julie Grosche and Matthew Warren. Though their works and processes are quite distinct, each artist uses digital print media to investigate our relationship to the physical world. …Read More
"Jin Joo Chae: The Choco Pie-ization of North Korea"
Julie Meneret Contemporary Art, New York
The sweet taste of capitalism is rarely sampled in North Korea, but in the demilitarized Kaesong Industrial Complex—the only area where North and South Korea have contact—Choco Pies are distributed to North Korean workers in place of cash bonuses. Made of chocolate-covered layers of cake with marshmallow filling, Choco Pies conjure childhood memories for many Koreans, much as Hostess Twinkies do in the United States. …Read More
The German-Swiss artist Dieter Roth (1930–1998) experimented with nearly every medium available to him—painting, sculpture, drawing, graphics, music, video and installation—and developed a highly individual practice that transcends easy categorization. Perhaps for this reason the singular contribution he made in the decades following World War II has eluded the general public. …Read More
The 19th century was a period of continuous flux in which industrialization, commodification and urbanization fundamentally transformed everyday experience. In France especially these changes found resonance in the visual arts. …Read More
"1913 Armory Show Revisited: the Artists and their Prints"
International Print Center New York
Arthur B. Davies, Figure in Glass (1916-17), drypoint on zinc. Courtesy Harris Schrank, New York.
In 1913 more than 70,000 visitors—some curious, some supportive, some overtly hostile—swarmed the “International Exhibition of Modern Art” at New York’s 69th Regiment Armory in masses that one artist compared to “a subway crush in the evening rush hour.” Much as we are used to art that courts controversy, it is hard to imagine the deep offence taken by many visitors, artists and newspaper writers at what were essentially aesthetic differences. …Read More
Mary Cassatt, Costume Study after Paul Gavarni, New York Public Library. Wallach Fund. Left: State i (ca. 1878), etching and drypoint, image 20.5 x 13.7 cm, sheet 26.2 x 20.4 cm. Center: State ii (ca. 1878), etching, drypoint and aquatint, image 20.5 x 13.7 cm, sheet 26.2 x 20.4 cm. Right: State iii (ca. 1878), plate burnished with traces of etching and aquatint, image 20.5 x 13.7 cm, sheet 25.1 x 20.1 cm.
The art of Mary Cassatt has, since the blossoming of social and feminist art histories in the 1970s, come to be understood in the discourse on Impressionism primarily as representative of female experience in late 19th-century Paris. As a result, her subject matter—motherhood and domestic life—has been emphasized far more extensively than her technical process. Her remarkable prints have, likewise, been absorbed into scholarly accounts through their reliance on this same material. …Read More
Kate McCrickard, Spaghetti (ghost) (2013), oil monotype, 23.5 x 27.5 inches. Unique image. Printed and published by David Krut Projects, Johannesburg / New York.
In her debut solo show at David Krut Projects, British artist Kate McCrickard showed recent paintings and prints incorporating images of young children. This is dangerous territory for a female artist, as McCrickard is well aware, but she has nonetheless surrendered to an infinitely rich source of material: “Before I had children I didn’t have a subject—I never dreamt of this as being a subject. But I wanted to get back to figuration and intaglio is made for the figure.” …Read More
The first work one encounters in Wade Guyton’s midcareer survey, “OS,” at the Whitney Museum is a quintet of canvases, mostly black, with orange flames at the base licking the letter “U.” Slightly larger and wider than an average door, these pieces seem to address the entering visitor. …Read More
Stephen Chambers, detail from The Big Country; Australia / New Zealand (2012), screenprint, 114 x 231 cm.
The Artists’ Laboratory is an ongoing series of events at the Royal Academy of Arts, now in its sixth incarnation, whose goal is to offer Academicians a chance to open up their practice, take risks and explore fresh ideas, and to show the public less familiar aspects of their work. …Read More
Displacement and memory, and a keen yearning for order, are the key themes running through the very compelling and personal survey, “Zarina: Paper Like Skin.” Zarina’s first-ever retrospective, spanning 50 years of the Indian-born artist’s work, presents not only a deeply felt personal commentary on a life lived in exile, but also a catalog of the remarkable breadth of technique that has become integrated into the printer’s art in the last half century. …Read More
There are prints of Bruce Conner’s that become gently graphed onto one’s visual cortex if given enough viewing time. The effect is fleeting, but unmistakable, and it’s what gives this exhibition its title, “Afterimage.” It is uncommon to anchor a body of offset lithographs in the viewer’s sensual experience, but that is precisely what Conner’s early efforts were meant to do. Without intent, one’s gaze deepens to a stare, tracing tightly wound, jet-black, labyrinthine lines across a creamy white page. …Read More
Ian Schneller, White Hornlet (2012), handmade cotton paper, mixed media, 19 x 19 x 5 inches. Photo: Rod Slemmons.
“Material Assumptions” is a provocation to reconsider paper—specifically handmade paper, and its potential to support, hold and challenge form. The exhibition was developed through an independent study graduate course at Chicago’s Columbia College led by Jessica Cochran, …Read More
"Inuit Prints, Japanese Inspiration: Early Printmaking in the Canadian Arctic"
Canadian Museum of Civilization
Winnipeg Art Gallery
Niviasi [Niviaksiak], Three Caribou (1957), stonecut, 23 x 36.5 cm. Printed by Kananginak Pootoogook, Cape Dorset, Canada.
In the late 1950s, The West Baffin Eskimo Co-Operative in Cape Dorset was an exciting place to be in the Canadian East Arctic. Its burst of experimental creativity, its trajectory from single room craft shop to important print studio, and its impact in terms of cultural exchange …Read More