Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Printmaking: A Continuous Dialogue

Leonhart Fuchs (1501-1567)
From De Historia Stirpium
Basel: 147
Hand-colored woodcut engraving

On Tuesday, February 23, 2010, Arader Galleries in San Francisco had the pleasure of attending “Art Sandwiched In,” a series of noontime luncheons held at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, which presents prominent members of the art community in panel discussions on a myriad of art related topics. “Printmaking at the Heart of the Creative Process,” a discussion on the history and current practices of printmaking, featured a panel including Kathan Brown, founder of the Crown Point Press artist Laura Owens, Griff Williams, owner of Gallery 16/Urban Digital Color, artist Darren Waterston and was moderated by the SFMOMA’s curator of painting and sculpture, Janet Bishop.

An informative video, filmed at the Crown Point Press, introduced the process of printmaking. Viewers witnessed the different steps to making prints and saw as Laura Owens, an artist-in-residence at the time, carefully created her works. Kathan Brown and Griff Williams spoke about their interests in printmaking and how their respective workshops and galleries have developed the process with modern technology while using the same skill, dedication and preciseness as artists in the 15th century. Laura Owens spoke about her influences in printmaking, the images and ideas she uses and her process and how they may relate to, but become far removed from her other formal paintings and works.

Griff Williams and Darren Waterson also discussed their interests in using digital technology to create images which are then engraved and printed. In their collaborative book, “The Flowering,” thirteen images by Waterson were inspired by the experience and readings of St. Francis of Assisi and produced through relief printing, digital pigment printing and hand-coloring.

The dialogue between original and contemporary printmakers is still strong, as the process and desire for originality remain the same. Arader Galleries is proud to have numerous printmaking artists in its collection including Leonhart Fuchs’s woodcut herbals from the 16th century, Giovanni Battista Ferrari’s copperplate engraving from the 17th century and Pierre-Joseph Redoute’s botanical stipple engravings, all of which are meticulously created and expertly hand-colored.

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