A year after taking root in a vacant flower shop on West 28th Street in New York City, Planthouse has become a home to daring exhibitions by emerging artists as well as a supportive venue for prints. “Proof” was the gallery’s first project to include the work of eminent artists such as Chuck Close, Joel Shapiro and Vija Celmins. The exhibition’s focus, however, was not these “big names” but the critical contribution of three New York–based master printers: Ruth Lingen, Jennifer Melby and Leslie Miller.
Each has been running a press with a distinct area of expertise since the 1980s. As the director of the Brooklyn studio Pace Paper, Lingen works closely with artists of Pace Prints on papermaking, letterpress and artists’ books; Melby works in intaglio and publishes through Jennifer Melby Editions; and Miller’s Grenfell Press publishes artists’ books and prints in woodcut, linocut and pochoir. Plant-house founders Brad Ewing and Katie Michel culled 41 works from the presses’ flat files—etchings, woodcuts, reduction linocuts, handmade paper and extravagant explorations of mixed processes.