Please Print at ATC Space

ATC Space presents Please Print, group show focusing on various print mediums, and analyzing the ever-changing nature of printmaking in the age of digital technology.

Where: ATC Space, 1579 N. Milwaukee, #352 Chicago, IL

Opening reception:   April 27, 2000, 7-10pm and May 11, 2000 7-10pm

Curator Olga Stefan.

Artists: JB Daniel, Susan Spies, George Colvin, Lorell Butler, Clark Landwehr

On May 11 at 8pm, artists will speak about their work and the new processes

Please Print explores the contemporary face of printmaking, an artform that had arguably changed little before the mid 1950s. In the last decade, however, printmaking and photography have been revolutionized with the advent of computers and new technologies. As a result, for some the darkroom and ink have become archaic tools, when “developing” images on a computer’s printer provides immediate results and satisfaction. For others, using some traditional printmaking techniques to express contemporary subject matter offers a good connection to the past and the future. And still others mix media and dimension to go beyond the limitations of space imposed by printmaking, thereby creating sculptural prints.

In this group exhibition, five artists use different types of processes to create prints that address contemporary subjects. JB Daniel’s conceptual piece, I Think 10,000 Things, is a three-dimensional digital print of a woman’s eye that repeats itself obsessively over thirty times. The ever watching eye as the title suggests, can refer to thousands of things: the female gaze in portraiture that has made the Mona Lisa into a myth and icon; the idea of being watched or supervised; or obsession with discovering “the Truth” believed to reside in the eyes. JB Daniel does not offer any one possibility. Instead he provides us with the platform for discussion. See image of installation here

Susan Spies’ piece, The Nine Delicacies of New Atlantis, “is a culinary examination of the ‘upper class’ in contemporary society”. Her works are three-dimensional ink jet prints representing the fine culinary tradition of the European aristocracy with texts depicting the American efforts at attaining an upper-class life-style. This work is a social commentary on the artificial culture and society that America has created in its short existence.

George Colvin’s colorgraph prints (a type of intaglio print) are like pieces of a puzzle that have been reassembled in an unorganized fashion to demonstrate the chaotic nature of our lives and existence. Her work is “derived from street signs. Markers that aim to direct us. Alerting of danger, informing of alternatives, preventing us from entering – an attempt to regain control of the results of a prior act, which may have occurred randomly.”

JB Daniel’s obsession with repetition and iconography can also be found in Lorell Butler’s pieces of Leslie Gore To-Go. Her thirty portraits made of enamel and photocopy transfers on wood and canvas, depict the pop star singer of “It’s my party” in a variety of poses. This work, like JB Daniel’s and Susan Spies’, comments on American culture’s obsession with status, stars, and the idea of the gaze.

Clark Landwehr also refers to the power of iconography in his digital assemblages. His work is composed of photographs he has taken of posters on the street, which he has collaged together and manipulated into new images. The idea of using found images to create new works of art addresses the concept of originality and the illusion of its existence.

Although printmaking has not been the medium of choice for most contemporary artists, the artists in this exhibition have pushed the boundaries of printmaking and have created relevant and contemporary work that put into question the nature of printmaking as a whole.

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