We are excited to announce our new summer show, Monotypes, which will open on July 17th with a nighttime reception at the gallery from 5-7pm. A monotype is the most painterly method of printmaking, created by manually adding ink onto a plate, which is then printed through a traditional press. While other printmaking mediums are composed by way of hard, precise lines and detailed crosshatching, the looseness and gestural freedom allowed in a monotype can be an invigorating breath of fresh air for artists. The prints chosen for the exhibit are glowing examples of this unbridled, and sometimes playful, independence from the technical, benefiting from the simple swipe of a brush stroke, the pooling and blending of inks, and the unique translucency and saturation of color. The show will remain on view through September 12, 2015. Selected Artists: Linda Adato, Leonard Baskin, Philip Bennet, Susan Goldman, Takamune Ishiguro, Alessandro Mastro-Valerio, Matt Phillips, Clare Romano, Peri Schwartz, Bruce Waldman, Steven Walker, and Janet Yake. We will share more with our OPG Blog readers and followers as the show takes form, so make sure to check back for updates!
We are very excited to announce our new upcoming show, Tonal Array: Aquatints from the 20th and 21st Century, which will open on Friday, February 20, 2015 with an opening reception from 5-7 pm at the gallery. The show will continue until April 11, 2015.
Aquatint is an etching technique that creates areas of tone through the use of a powdered or ground resin that is sprinkled on a metal plate prior to being bitten by etching acid. Although primarily used in the 18th and 19th centuries as a medium to reproduce the delicate fluidity and transparency of watercolors and paintings, the aquatint survived as an artist’s medium because of its atmospheric effects and flat wash properties. Tonal Array draws attention to the talented printmakers of the 20th and 21st century who experimented and pushed the boundaries of aquatint’s potential. Varying between flat color planes and incredible plate texture, as well as dramatic areas of light and dark, these artists demonstrate a fluid and experimental handling of the medium. The resulting images have an expressive strength and visual intensity that relays the ingenuity to be found in the world of original printmaking.
Selected Artists: Linda Adato, John Taylor Arms, Letterio Calapai, Frank Cassara, Joseph Essig, Eric Goldberg, Takamune Ishiguro, Chaim Koppelman, Richard Lubell, Mary Manusos, Frederick Mershimer, Charles F. Mielatz, Jake Muirhead, Merle Perlmutter, Gerald Scheck, Ellen Nathan Singer, Richard Sloat, Mayumi Takagi, and Henry Ziegler.
Check back soon for more information about the show, about the rich history of aquatints, as well as more show images!
Today we have a new P/P post, featuring two prints of watery reflections. Both are currently in our Summer gallery show Water, along with other works by contemporary and early 20th century artists. The earlier work is by artist Alessandro Mastro-Valerio, a highly regarded painter and watercolorist prior to the start of his printmaking career in 1930. Although best known for his mezzotints which won him many awards, he worked in drypoint, etching, aquatint, wood engraving and experimented with continuous bite and sugar lift aquatints. Similar to Maestro-Valerio, the contemporary artist featured in this post, Takamune Ishiguro, employs aquatint in his printmaking. Drawn to this medium, Ishiguro explains “[Aquatint] has many attractive expressions such as lines or areas caused by corrosion and unplanned occurrences.”
Aquatint is a fantastic technique for capturing water, as it is an etching process concerned with areas of tone rather than line. For this technique, the plate is covered with a ground or powdered resin that is granular rather than solid (as in etching). The plate is then submerged in an acid bath. The acid bites between the granules of the resin. The design, wholly in tonal areas, is produced by protecting certain areas of the plate from the acid by the application of an impervious varnish. Submerging the plate in the acid bath multiple times can produce different degrees of darkness. Artists will also use several resins with different grains, for a varied effect.
Image on Left: Life in Still Water. By Alessandro Maestro-Valerio. Aquatint, c. 1950.
Image on Right: Some Fragments VIII-C. By Takamune Ishiguro. Etching and aquatint, 2005. Edition 50.
The Old Print Gallery is pleased to present Water, a group show featuring prints by local, national, and international contemporary artists. Water will open on Friday, July 20, 2012, with a nighttime reception from 5-8pm at the gallery. The show will be on view until September 14, 2012. With a subject matter as open and expansive as water, the show yields both personal and universal interpretations for artist and viewer.
Abstraction and illusion are prominent in the works of Water. Judy Mensch’s woodblock Water 1 is a product of seven woodblocks, ten passes, and eight colors. The result is a dynamic distillation of water in stripes of deep blues and greens. Philip Bennet’s Splash, too, is an abstract blend of colors, forgoing form to capture a more visceral depiction of a plunge into watery depths. NY artist Peter Milton incorporates overlays of watery motifs in his large, dreamlike images. Here, water alludes to the shadowy depths of the subconscious, and hints at memories and influences from the artist’s past.
Marked is the artists’ ability to evoke watery imagery from the hard matrices of copper plates and woodblocks. Simple cuts and gouges transform into brilliantly dappled light on water’s surface in Karen Whitman’s Adrift. Likewise, rough, turmoil waves emerge from the constant rocking and reworking of the plate in Art Werger’s Requiem. Other artists highlight the liquid properties of inked media itself to communicate a watery essence. Takume Ishiguro’s use of aquatint and water-based inks in Some Fragments VII-C adds fluidity and glassiness to his macro depiction of water bubbles. Whether water is depicted in large scale or small scale, figuratively or metaphorically, its capacity to mesmerize and captivate artists’ attention is undeniable.
Selected Artists: William J. Behnken, Philip Bennet, Richard Carleton, Antonio Frasconi, Takamune Ishiguro, Stanley Kaplan, Alessandro Mastro-Valerio, Judy Mensch, Frederick Mershimer, Peter Milton, Clare Romano, Ilse Schreiber Noll, Herbert Simon, Mary Teichman, Art Werger, and Karen Whitman.
Our 2012 Winter Contemporary Show opens tonight– with a celebratory opening night party from 5-8pm at OPG (its free- so stop by and bring all of your friends!). We selected work by 22 different artists- hailing from all over the map- DC, New York, Ohio, even Japan. Below is a sneak preview of the show’s collection. I’ve also included excerpts from the printmakers’ artists statements. Although many of these works speak for themselves, it is always interesting to read how an artist conceptualizes his/her own work- what inspires, what processes they use, and so on. Enjoy!
Bruce Waldman- “I think of my work as dealing much more with the turbulence of my emotions than about technique, process, or any intellectual method or idea. I use the techniques that I have learned as tools only. Whether I am doing a figure, a landscape or still-life, I am viewing from inside my body; and usually the image is speaking more about my feelings than about the objects I’m depicting.”
Linda Adato- “I start the image abstractly from the geometries of things around me, their configuration of line, form, shadow, etc. In the journey from drawing to final print, I do not so much execute the initial idea as I develop it in the course of the intaglio process. I am sometimes surprised by the “realistic” image.”
Takumune Ishiguro- “To draw a picture is to express myself. The motif of my work comes from ‘Nature’ – vitality created from nature, hue, shape, air, smell, etc. It is not the motif created systematically, but the motif created naturally that is put on my canvas, not directly but through the filter of ‘myself’. Etching has many attractive expressions such as lines or areas caused by corrosion and unplanned occurrences. A completed work is a mirror of myself.”
Masaaki Noda- “I like to express the inner and outer worlds of nature for pictorial dynamism. They radiate energy and originate either from the tellurian or the celestial world: perpetual motion which embraces abstraction through the potential and momentum of its intrinsic energy of nature.
Alan Petrulis- “Technique has never been more than a means to an end for me. I have no compulsion to follow rules, show off my expertise, or do something new for its own sake. Having worked in many mediums both new and old I feel most comfortable creating simple line etchings by a method that has changed little over the past four hundred years. “
Richard Sloat– “Woodcut and etching have been my field of creation. Both these forms of prints exude a visual clarity and depth of feeling. We, in viewing them, are tied into the visual world at an essential level, an affirmation of our own life’s journey.”
Robert Birmelin- “It is not unusual to find that a relative or friend’s memory of a past event clashes with one’s own. Indeed, how often do two witnesses to the same crime contradict one another as to what really occurred? As an artist, I found myself seeking a visual structure that would be an active metaphor for such a state of mind – a structure continuous and spatially rich that initially seems to offer an uncomplicated, expected orientation and then self subverts, challenging the observer to recognize the claims of another equally visually insistent counter-reading. Our minds are restless, making choices, fluctuating between possibilities as we strive to interpret, to judge between contending truths. These paintings live in mid-thought, in the space of that uncertainty – an all too familiar space in a world of bewildering choice.”