The Sanford Gallery

Substrata: or, Such Stuff as Prints are Made On

substrata

November 18 – December 30, 2014.
Reception:  Saturday, December 13, 5-7 PM

SUBSTRATA** or Such Stuff as Prints are Made On* is curated by Anne Beresford,  and celebrates the art that is created along the way to making prints: bringing to light the unique artistic experiences that make printmaking happen.

Included in this unique exhibition will be works by Erika Radich, Carolyn Webb, Nancy Diessner, Joyce Silverstone, Lynn Peterfreund, Polly Cassel, Louise Wallendorf, Esther White, David Hazlett and Liz Chalfin.

CURATOR’S THOUGHTS

For this exhibition, there are no “finished” prints. Instead, this exhibition celebrates the art that happens along the way to making prints: bringing into focus some of the artistic experiences that make a finished print possible. As many a printmaker can tell you, these underlying substrata are sometimes as beautiful as, and often may be more revealing than, the finished art works they helped create. Here are some of the many things these objects have revealed to me.

David Hazlett’s evocative “found” drawing reminds me of the beauty in the discarded – if only one has eyes to see it before it hits the recycling bin. Nancy Diessner’s deep photographic research into the nature of humanity’s relationship to other animals asks questions about what it actually means to be human, to act human; Liz Chalfin’s focus on common social scenes, drawing them and re-drawing them, and then drawing them again reveals how she strips away at an idea until she finds the essence of what in it speaks volumes; Erika Radich’s process explodes the very notion of “working from Nature”, letting Nature work for her – and then taking it from there; Esther S. White allows her materials to dictate to and surprise her, fabrics and found materials often determine patterns of colour in the most vital and vibrant way; Louise Wallendorf also works from nature, but very differently – her raw materials make explicit connections between organic forms, finding in the patterns of wood grain echoes of the physics of water; Lynn Peterfreund’s stencils take on the magic of puppets – creating new narratives each time I look – seemingly all by themselves; Polly Cassel’s use of her children’s out-grown clothing as printing plates make them artefacts of art-making, and also of life; Carolyn Webb uses primal Elements, stone and tree, to access metaphors for our very thought (neural) networks; and Joyce Silverstone’s well-worn plates (and impossibly delicate stencil) carry a private history of the many prints pulled from them within their marks of wistful beauty.

This exhibition is not meant to make the substrata objects “art-works”, nor is it “snapshots” of studio worktables or work practices per se. This exhibition walks a delicate line. A fine art print is the product of layers and layers of steps, a multitude of thoughts and decisions. It has been a pleasure to help illuminate some of these layers for this exhibition.

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