For centuries, printmaking has consisted largely of using standard equipment to create one-dimensional images on a flat piece of paper.
Oh, how times have changed!
Prints on silver plate silverware and dishes, rusted paper and wheat paste, and even melting ice are just a few of the surprises awaiting viewers of the Hunterdon Art Museum’s newest exhibition Multiple Ones: Contemporary Perspectives in Printmedia. The exhibition opened Saturday, May 12 and runs until Sept. 2.
“There is a freshness and contemporary pulse to printmaking that is taking the art world by surprise,” said Sheila Goloborotko, curator of this show that spotlights the works of 18 artists, who are taking printmaking into bold and exciting new directions. “The prints in this exhibition are on porcelain, recycled wood, and melting ice; they live in the toxic residue left by the contaminated water of Flint, Michigan, and are even inked onto good old fashioned paper—only sideways, on the paper’s, less-than-millimeter thick, bleeding edge.”
These prints hang frameless, flexible, folded and are built like a puzzle or planted as a garden. All the prints were manipulated in some fashion – cut, burnt, fired, mounted, recorded or pasted, Goloborotko noted.
And while all the pieces in this show are quite diverse, they all have one thing in common: They form an open-ended mode or a network of nomadic relationships among all the elements in the collective printmaking process.
“I hope viewers will understand the importance of contemporary printmaking as it is represented in this exhibition as a sculptural, video, painterly and social practice,” Goloborotko said. ”Since the exhibition shows mostly one piece by each artist, I hope the public will search more works by the presented artists. I hope printmakers feel inspired in creating contemporary works that are not conformed, but informed by printmaking.”
Artists with pieces in this exhibition are: Justin Barfield, Shawn Bitters, Florence Gidez, Rebecca Gilbert, Ruthann Godollei, Brandi Grogan, John Hitchcock, Andrew Kozlowski, Lauren Kussro, Nathan Meltz, Guen Montgomery, Jill Parisi, Andrew Raftery, Samantha Parker Salazar, Marliee Salvator, Mizin Shin, Swoon and Eszter Sziksz.
Goloborotko said these contemporary printmakers are less concerned with printing editions but more interested in multiple originalities. By removing artificial boundaries, they truly understand the process and have contextualized printmaking as a participatory, rather than only a democratic process.
“Here is a technique that is so porous, it can act like a sculpture and inhabit three dimensions; it can mimic a painted mural as it sprawls across a wall,” she said.