Samantha Wall

Edition Review

  • Samantha Wall, Dark Matter (Universal Body #1), Dark Matter (Universal Body #2), Dark Matter (Universal Body #3) and Dark Matter (Universal Body #4) (2016)

  • Two-color lithographs, 30 x 22 inches each. Edition of 20 each. Printed and published by Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts, Pendleton, OR. $900 each.

These intriguing prints are something of a departure for Samantha Wall, a Portland-based artist whose delicate monochromatic drawings focus on the depiction of young multiracial women. While her work usually makes use of wide expanses of white paper, the enigmatic silhouettes in these four lithographs are printed in metallic silver ink on flat black. Devoid of identifying facial features, the four figures are nonetheless full of visual information. As in some of her drawings, Wall used ink on Mylar to create blooming pools of swirling liquid. Wandering the surface of the unreceptive film, the ink dries in puddles, forming radiating strata. It is a fickle medium, requiring confidence (or fearlessness); any hesitation is visible. For Wall, the act of drawing is akin to thinking; it allows her to scrutinize small parts while taking in the whole. This is manifest in the way the free-flowing eddies of ink meet the tight delineation of the figure’s contours.

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