Sunday, November 15, 2009

Exchange Portfolio: Reconciliation

Shawn McPheron's solar plate image was created with a photographic image manipulated in photoshop and then printed onto a transparency and exposed to the plate. He printed it with a modified graphite ink on tan BFK.

Rosi Benjamin's also created a solar plate print by drawing directly onto a transparency with India Ink and Sharpies and and then exposing it to the plate. Her printing involved a black intaglio with a transparent roll of a cool cyan and printed on a warm paper.

Kim Salaices' print is a linoleum cut printed over a digital image of pattern and chine colled onto a thin black paper, which she then sewed button eyes onto the rag doll and further stitched into the heart and body of the doll image.

Fran Detiel's print is a digital drawing printed onto a transparency and exposed to the plate, which she hand colored with transparent washes of acrylic, she burnt the edges of the print and also burnt the edges of the paper that the print was eventually mounted on.

Chris Little's print was an linoleum cut exploring cellular and tectonic issues, it was printed onto a map and then further mounted onto rag paper.

Almost all of the "artist's proofs" for the Reconciliation editions have been submitted. Actually they aren't Artist's Proofs since most of the editions haven't been printed yet, so each is actually referred to as a bon a tirer, which mean good to pull. Years ago print collectors use to consider an Artist's Proof as a prized acquisition because in the French tradition of printmaking an artist worked closely with a Master Printer. As the artist inspected the proofs that had been pulled by the Master Printer, the one the artist signed and labeled "B.A.T." (bon a tirer) was the one the artist wanted as a guide for the edition. This print took over as the coveted one for collectors because it was the first to meet the artist's standards and approval. However, because many artists now print their own editions and give equal attention to the first print as well as the last, the attention given to Artist's Proofs has become less important. Each print in the edition is of equal importance.

A colophon page is being prepared for the portfolio and it will have reproductions of every print created for the exchange since the portfolios will not contain all of the images. There will be 17 randomly collated portfolios of ten prints each, and one portfolio with all 17 prints as part of the printshop collection. Although I know that some of you are disappointed that the portfolios will not be complete, the budget would not allow for the editioning of 306 prints, that's a lot of ink and a lot of paper and lot of glassine and a lot of time. The had to be a reconciliation for everyone to get a good sampling of the entire group of prints, plus reproductions of the ones that are not included in an particular portfolio.

Examples of some of the prints are included with this post. They represent a diverse range of imagery and processing. They also represent a conceptual stretch of the theme that defines the portfolio.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Rob's flounder

Brian's flounder

On November 10th, Mineo Yamamotto, a renowned fish printer from Japan, came to IUS to conduct a seminar and fish printing workshop. The event was hosted by the Department of Fine Arts and the School of Natural Sciences. We had twenty partcipants, twenty fresh flounder, and twenty experimental attitudes. The results were pretty remarkable, and I have posted two of the prints above. Mineo was very helpful and very engaging with his explanations and demonstration of the process. He also had several of his own works that were quite beautiful.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Relief Prints

Trista Escobedo

Shawn McPheron

Kimberly Fawbush

Khara Cornelius

Fran Dietl

Chris Little

Beth Dougherty

We viewed and discussed final relief prints today, with a selection of those prints reproduced above. Each will have an edition of at least 4, some may have more. Many of the prints explored multiple processes, and given the variety of approaches taken I think that a pretty broad range of educational and creative experiences were shared by many. Chris and Khara both were using maps as a printing base, with Chris printing on actual map sections and Khara on digital maps. Several explored chine colle, and Shawn, Beth, and Kimberly had some pretty successful results. Fran took advantage of translucent paper mounted over another and different color paper for her strong graphic image, while Trista printed her image over a dog foot print decorative paper that created an image of multiple complexities of meaning.

Relief prints, like all of the print processes prior to the digital, has a long history and tradition. However, during the last quarter of the 20th century printmaking went through a lot of changes, perhaps due to large contract print shops working with artists who didn't know how to create prints. Prints began to incorporate other media, they no longer were just flat images created with ink, paper, and pressure. They incorporated photographic processes, sculptural considerations, even elements of installation and video. The work created in those printshops was orchestrated by Master Printers, artists who knew how to create prints based on extensive experience and knowledge of the processes, and who worked with the artists who didn't know how to create a "print". Much of printmaking is about is about critical thinking, having an idea and exploring that idea through a process or processes, resolving creative problems, saying something new and visually engaging about the potentials of both the idea and the process. That takes skill, creativity, knowledge of what came before, and the ability to think critically.

After the relief prints are editioned, wonder what would happen if.......