say your piece
ISSUE NO.
155 30 OCTOBER 2003
 
theArts
Printmaker, Printmaker...
Find Me a Good Art Show in Salt Lake City
By Stephanie Geerlings
 
   
PRINTMAKING 101
   

The processes are complicated and do not usually exist in general dialogue. The basics include lithography, etching, intaglio, screenprinting and monoprinting. There are varying techniques as well.

In lithography, the image is drawn on a flat surface with a greasy crayon. Hydrophobic ink adheres to the greased surface and is then run through the press.
Relief produces the image from a cut-away plane of wood or plastic by digging out the negative and printing what remains—basically like making a stamp.

Etching takes many forms. An image is incised into a hard surface by soaking the exposed parts of the plate in an acid bath the printmaker create grooves for ink to settle into. The ink is applied and the excess ink washed off, and wet paper soaks up the ink when run through a press.

Etchings are a type of intaglio pertaining to the plate of which the image was bit into.

Screenprinting is probably the technique that introduced you to Andy Warhol. The process sounds complicated, but is actually the fastest. By hardening photo emulsion around the image and washing out the soft part that was not exposed to the light, the paint is squeegied through the screen. It is similar to what you would do to make a stencil.

Monoprinting is not done for perfect replicas. It is a series, but the image changes. These are not to be confused with monotypes, which only yield one print. The image is painted on a surface and then lifted by running it through the press.

Chine-chollé is just a pretty word for gluing paper to paper. Don't be intimidated by the terms. Printmaking has everything to do with the quality of paper and texture and types of inks. There is too much information to disseminate in full.

     

he smell of luscious wood fibers and thick, sticky, black ink. What could be better than that?

Printmaking marks several touchstones in art history. It has been appreciated for its reproductive quality and was first used in book design. It is its own art, however. Away from pure mimicry, the process gives artists a lot of creativity.

Paul Vincent Bernard is the main organizer of the new selective printmaker exhibit, “Making our Mark.” Thirteen local established printmakers contribute their many talents. The show has a richness in varying subject and style.

The initial idea for an all-printmaker show came from Carl Pace. Usually, printmaking takes a back seat role in other gallery exhibits filled with the more traditional art, like painting and sculpture.

The show is taking place at the Forum Gallery. It runs from Oct. 17 through Nov. 7. The gallery is open Wednesday through Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.

The city's art community is definitely now big enough to sustain printmaking in its printmakers-only club.

Most of the displayed artists established their work as fine art, though unfortunately, there were a few pieces that teetered on high design and less like expressive art. Printmaking has had to prove itself as an art form that stands alone. A majority of printmakers end up working to reproduce the works of other artists instead of creating their own work.

Always interested in printmaking, Bernard finally acquired his own press at his Gutherie studio.

“You can live for thousands of years and still not explore all of the marks you could make," Bernard said. Printmaking historically keeps evolving.

He interprets his work often in sexual terms and produces artwork that can be read on a multitude of levels. His other passions include critical discourse and he still takes classes and reads about critical theory.

The show has already been very successful, and Bernard hopes to be able to do it again.

Veera Kasicharernvat also has his studio at Gutherie’s. He got his master’s degree in fine arts at the U in painting and printmaking. His pieces are intended to be studies in the psychological and emotional stature of other people.

Art Forum’s exhibit became Bob Kleinschmidt’s show. He was the printmaking professor at the U for 30 years and just about all the displayed artists are affiliated with him. Many are his former pupils.

“Justin has done a really good job,” Kleinschmidt said, complimenting the U’s new printmaking collaborator, Justin Diggle.

When asked what print process he prefers, he just slowly shook his head. “That old question is always there,” he said.

For Kleinschmidt, his favorite process is whatever he is working in at the time. He genuinely loves all of printmaking—the history, construction and materials. “It's a kick,” he said.

The exhibition is worth seeing. Forum Gallery throws a great show and printmakers are possibly just plain cooler than painters.
stephanie@red-mag.com

 
     
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