2009-09-25 / Columnists

From The Artists Studio Rockaway Artists Alliance

A Feast Of Printmaking
Commmentary by Susan Hartenstein

At left: Mari Meade of the Mari Meade Dance Theatre. She and her company will perform Saturday, October 3 at 1 p.m. at the Rockaway Center for the Arts in Fort Tilden as part of RAA's ARTSPLASH. At left: Mari Meade of the Mari Meade Dance Theatre. She and her company will perform Saturday, October 3 at 1 p.m. at the Rockaway Center for the Arts in Fort Tilden as part of RAA's ARTSPLASH. Christian Le Gars has brought to the RAA sTudio 6 Gallery the finest exhibition the Rockaway Center for the Arts has seen in years.

"InkSplash" presents the work of ten international master printmakers. Le Gars is not only curator of the exhibit, he is a participant.

"The purpose of the exhibit," says Le Gars, "is to show the tradition of printmaking in a changing time; to show traditional printmaking as it is pushed into its contemporary stages."

InkSplash, which this year is part of ARTSPLASH, is a preview of a larger print show that will be on the RAA schedule next year, also curated by Le Gars; also to feature master printmakers.

Both InkSplash and next year's show have been scheduled to coincide with the highly respected and prestigious International Fine Print Dealers Association (IFPDA) Print Fair, held annually in The Park Avenue Armory, 643 Park Avenue at East 67 Street, and with Print Week.

The 2009 Fair runs November 5 - 8. All dealers exhibiting are IFPDA members. The Fair is the highlight of New York Fine Art Print Week, a weeklong series of exhibits, lectures, gallery talks, demonstrations and openings focused on printmaking and the vitality of this art form over its long history. Artists, art lovers, educators and collectors have the opportunity to explore member galleries, museums and nonprofit organizations and to expand their knowledge of fine prints.

IFPDA is a non-profit organization of art dealers, galleries and publishers with expertise in fine prints. For more information visit: www.ifpda.org.

Saturday, October 3 at 2 p.m. in sTudio 6, the artists of InkSplash will present a discussion of their work and the techniques used.

Don't miss this rare opportunity to gain insight into these extraordinary works of art and the processes of printmaking. Later in the month of October Elizabeth Harington, originally from South Africa and an internationally renowned print master and winner of awards that include the Pollack-Krasner Award, will offer a workshop on engraving and the technique of chine collé. Watch this column for date, time and registration procedure.

InkSplash presents a varied array of techniques, styles and themes. Some pieces may display the interplay of a more complex set of techniques; others less.

Each is a gem made with the utmost skill.

Sight and sound fuse. The overpowering interconnection between visual art and music is the force behind Elizabeth Harington's two etchings, "The Two-Part Inventions." She uses the printmaking medium to translate this music by Johann Sebastian Bach. The color, rhythms, counterpoints, lines, mirror images and forms she creates are a direct translation of their aural equivalents in Bach's music. Indeed, Harington posits that because Bach learned and used the reverse process of etching to print his scores, this understanding fostered in his musical compositions the complex, "magical" use of reversed phrases, symmetrical harmonies and inverted constructions in his monumental works.

Please go to elizabethharington. com to view more of her extraordinary art.

Richard Lubell believes printmaking made him more expressive in his art. "There is a playfulness about printmaking," he further states. In "Rockland Harbor" he uses aquatint, etching and chine collé, a technique that introduces a rice paper element. His boats are flowing, slightly abstracted forms, but the images have much to do with light. Visit his website at lubellart.com.

Noah Jemisin's works are exhibited courtesy of Skoto Gallery, whose goal is to bring contemporary African artists to New York. Jemisin loves to use line. "Expression," he says, "is housed in the line." Rhythm, line and color in art and music are the same thing expressed in different voices," he says. In "315 Berry Street," in a seeming contrast, the artist is able to create abstract forms with lines - beautiful, varied, expressive lines. Tara Sabharwal's work is part of an exhibit at the Queens Museum of Art on the Indian Diaspora. "Tree Path" is an etching using the complex and timeconsuming technique of a three plate color process. While wholly contemporary, the print is covered with traditional Indian markings. In "Atatos" Luanda Lozano uses etching, collographs and chine collé. Here, too, the surface markings are incredible.

In "Restaurant Row" Le Gars uses etching, aquatint and watercolor. Jemisin comments that in this piece areas of light are counterpointed with areas of dark shadow; a rhythm of a city emerges. Le Gars also exhibits the etching plate of the print, a work of art in itself. The etchings of Rie Hasegawa put one in mind of Hieronymous Bosch, in their intertwining figures, yet they are quite different. The figures are not threatening, though they are very strange. Flowing into each other; human-like forms expressed in complex lines, in a flowing line through the composition; imaginative; intriguing. Her website is: www.harie. com. "Birth of Man" is a multi-block reduction woodcut by Justin Sanz. Cut into the block, ink, print; cut more into the block, re-ink with a different color, print; cut more into …. Printmakers are patient, devoted creatures. "Philosophical Intercourse" is a collaboration between Hasegawa and Sanz. This is the first time this work has been exhibited anywhere. You can see more of Sanz at: justinsanz.com. Le Gars calls the pair "the young generation of printmakers."

Lenore Lim's "Nude" is a photo etching that has a beautiful grainy quality. From the distance it is abstract; from close up, it is very human and sensual. Devraj Dakoji is, according to Le Gars, one of the preeminent printmakers of India. His etching/aquatint "Pranamu" is subtle, abstract, filled with freefloating organic forms that seem to swim in a circle.

October 3 at 1 p.m., Mari Meade Dance will present "Community: Ratio." It studies the society of ants and how it relates to us. Meade is a Kenan Fellow at Lincoln Center Institute. More next week about this intriguing piece.

On September 30 the Brooklyn College Alumni Association will present a private screening of Robert Sarnoff's new film, "The Romeows, Retired Older Men Eating Out Wednesdays. Admission is free. The screening is at 4 p.m. in Tanger Auditorium on the BC campus. A Q&A will follow.

Seating is limited. There is an optional $20 buffet at 6 p.m. If interested contact the Alumni Association to reserve seats: 718-951-5065 or email:orlettew@Brooklyn.cuny.edu by today, September 25.

RAA CONTACT INFO:

Phone: 718-474-0861; Fax: 718- 474-4373; e-mail: rockart116@aol. com; website: www.rockawayartists alliance.org.
Fort Tilden Highlights
ARTSPLASH/InkSplash '09: Multimedia arts festival
through Oct. 11, sTudio 7, sTudio 6, RAA stages in
RoCA @ Fort Tilden. InkSplash, a printmaking show,
on view through Nov. 1 Admission free. Gallery hours:
Sat.s 12-4 p.m.; Sun.s 1-4 p.m.; by appointment.
Special events to be posted. Admission free to exhibit
and special events. See column for details.
ART AUCTION WALL: Special feature of ARTSPLASH
in sTudio 7.
SPECIAL EVENTS: Last two Sun.s in Sept.: Dzieci
Theatre Troupe performs "Circus Luna"; ensemble interactive
opera group. See future columns and RAA website
for dates and times of these and future events.
MARI MEADE DANCE: Sat., Oct. 3, 1 p.m.
"Community: Ratio." Admission free.
PRESENTATION BY PRINTMAKERS: Sat., Oct. 3, 2
p.m., sTudio 6, InkSplash participants discuss their art
and printmaking techniques. Admission free.
WRITERS GROUP PRESENTATION: Sun., Oct. 4,
1:30 p.m., sTudio7. Prose, poetry, plays -- readings and
performances. Free admission.
THURS. NIGHT OPEN MIC: Performing artists of all disciplines
invited. Sign-up at 7:45 p.m. for 8 p.m. start time.
PAINTING CLASSES FOR ADULTS: Tues. nights, 7-9
p.m.; Thurs. mornings, 10 a.m. - 12 noon. sTudio7,
RoCA @ Fort Tilden. $15 per class, supplies included.

kidsmART corner

The RAA is happy to announce the return of the kidsmART afterschool program, which is tentatively scheduled to begin at T-149 in Fort Tilden on Tuesday, October 13 and at PS 104 in Bayswater in early October. Registration details to follow. kidsmART is a free arts based program based on the principles of kindness, imagination, dependability, sensitivity, motivation, acceptance, respect and tolerance. All children between the ages of 6 and 13 are welcome.

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