Jason Urban is an artist, writer, teacher and curator, whose work has been exhibited internationally. He earned a BFA from Kutztown University and an MA and MFA from the University of Iowa. Co-founder of Printeresting.org—“the thinking person’s favorite resource for interesting print miscellany”—he currently teaches Printmaking at the University of Texas at Austin.

Amie Cunat

Amie Cunat, Rug (2018)

Amie Cunat’s screenprint Rug follows her recent installations in re-envisioning the visual traditions of the Shakers, and in its meditation on history and handcraft. Read More

Qiaoyi Shi

Qiaoyi Shi, Dark Melon (2018).

From Giuseppe Arcimboldo’s genre-bending portrait paintings of fruit-faces to the confectionary delights of Wayne Thiebaud’s still lifes, artists have long explored food as Read More

Pati Hill’s Scanning Bed Romance

Pati Hill, Understanding your Chinese Scarf (1983), 15 black-and-white photocopies, 11 1/2 x 15 3/4 inches. Courtesy Estate of Pati Hilland Essex Street, New York.

This exhibition marked the first New York solo show of Pati Hill’s pioneering photocopy art since 1979, when “Men and Women in Sleeping Cars” appeared at Kornblee Gallery. Hill, who died in 2014, relocated to France in the early 1980s and remained there. While it would be inaccurate to describe the exhibition as a time capsule, there is an undeniable nostalgia invoked by the look of analog photo-copies, which dovetailed with Hill’s own elegiac aesthetic to produce an exhibition more poetic than technological.

Three bodies of work were on view, produced between 1976 and 1983, and all displayed the telltale visual clues of early photocopying—heightened contrast and pronounced graininess coupled with refined detail, delicate edges leading to shallow gradients, a result of the machine’s compressed depth of field. One can imagine an Instagram or Photoshop filter being developed to replicate this “copier look,” but no screen could replicate the physicality of Hill’s works. The discoloration present on a few prints and the gleam of melted toner set against the matte finish of the paper remind us that these are objects as much as images. Each is a shallow window reaching back into time, displaying objects touched and arranged by the artist’s hand. The subject of Untitled (men’s shirt) lies neatly folded and wrapped from the cleaners; in my mind’s eye I could see Hill laying it face down on the copier bed to initiate an image that could almost be mistaken for a low-relief sculpture. The shirt itself is relatively timeless—plain cloth, placket front, spread collar. While Hill’s garment dates from 1976, the same item might be seen on Wall Street today, or for that matter on any of the pocket-squared advertising execs in the AMC television series Madmen, on which the Xerox model 914 made a cameo appearance. (The status of the photocopy machine as a tool of exclusively female secretarial staffs adds a gendered component to Hill’s labors.)

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Barrier Riff: Gfeller + Hellsgård in Austin

Christian Gfeller & Anna Hellsgard, Die Wand/Die Mauer (2016), screenprint on plywood, each approximately 8 x 12 x 3 feet. Unique objects. Printed by the artists. Published by UT Guest Artist in Print Program, Austin.

In “Die Wand / Die Mauer,” Christian Gfeller and Anna Hellsgård used freestanding, screenprinted billboards to slice up the Fieldwork project space inside the University of Texas at Austin Visual Arts Center. Three eight-foot-tall, twelve-foot-wide walls were arranged in parallel, cutting diagonally through the room Read More