Fresh Impressions at Projects Gallery

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Projects Gallery in Philadelphia is home to an excellent survey of new print work. Titled, Fresh Impressions, the exhibition is intended to be part of a larger effort by Philly-based cultural institutions to organize exhibition that will dovetail with the Full Spectrum: Prints from the Brandywine Workshop exhibition at the PMA (we’ll have more on that soon).

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For Fresh Impressions, Projects Gallery put together a an all-star line-up of guest jurors, Raphael Damast, Exhibitions Director, Taller Puertorriqueño; Rick De Coyte, co-founder, Silicon Gallery; Shelley Langdale, Associate Curator of Prints, Philadelphia Museum of Art; and Elizabeth F. Spungen, Executive Director, The Print Center.

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The Jurors selected the work from over 350 entrants, and came up with a lively and exciting mix of well-established print artists and exciting new talent. Fresh Impressions includes work by, Audrey Anastasi, Marc Blumthal, Jean Burdick, Victoria Burge, Caitlin Cass, Nick Cassway, Tiberiu Chelcea, Kip Deeds, Kay Healy, Virginia Holmes, Marcus Howell, Pernot Hudson, June Julian, NFN Kalyan, Joanna Kidd, Louise Kohrman, Katie Murken, Matt Neff, Alexis Nutini, José A. Ortiz Pagán, Serena Perrone, Johnny Plastini, Thomas Pontone, Jenny Robinson, Jason Scuilla, Sarah Smelser, Shirley Steele, Hester Stinnett, Lenore Thomas, Eli VandenBerg, Manuel Vermeire.

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It probably goes without saying that the work included displays a tremendous range in form and content, and nearly all of it is bringing some level of innovation to the conversation.

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Follow the jump for a ridiculous amount of installations pictures.

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Manuel Vemeire’s wood engraving La Battaglia di Anghiari is a delightful mash-up of historic forms.

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NFN Kalyan’s Chuck is an impossible to photograph holographic-like 3-D depiction of the artist Chuck Close.

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Victoria Burge’s Snowing series are a delight of restraint. Her laser cut relief prints utilize heavy embossment and very subtle tonal shifts to capture ephemeral natural phenomenon.

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Needless to say these photos only do the work a disservice.

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Jenny Robinson’s Gasometer is a monumental investigation of drypoint and calligraph.

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A suite of Jason Scuilla’s work is both surreal and excellent.

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Floating Toe

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In the Pines

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Arto Fantasma (phantom Limb)

José A. Ortiz Pagán’s T.R.A.P.#1 is described as an engraved drawing and stencil on rusted plate.. I’m not really sure what that means, but I am sure this work really blew me away.

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Kip Deeds, two related works, Intromission and Spill, below, are relief and collage.

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And a detail shot below.

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Matt Neff’s haunting work, Arrangement 1, seems to be some kind of charcoal flocking.

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And a detail below.

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Nick Cassway’s The Indulgencies – Oleg, is a work of vinyl on plexi.

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Louise Kohrman’s etching series The Presence of Absence I & II, are a delight of minimal restraint.

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Alex Nutini’s Invasive Species, places the matrix front and center by working with stencils and wood stain directly on a carefully crafted wood panel.

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While my photographs do a poor job of translating it here, the over-layed image of a projected plant (a palm tree?), appears and disappears as you move and the light changes.

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Joanna Kidd’s Knots is described as a mixed media print, but seems to also be an avant-garde statement on book design.

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Pernot Hudson’s ruin Composition 4 is a great and odd drawing print hybrid.

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Tiberiu Chelcea’s smart Calm Waters suite is an interesting combination of woodcut and hand-painting, two very time-comsuming, hand-derived processes that are utilized in a way that seems to be commenting on the ephemeral way digital images are consumed.

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June Julian’s series of prints combines stone litho with rubber stamping.

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Serena Perrone, a ferociously talented print artist, does not fail to delight with her Settlements, a print that combines etching, japanese woodcut and collage.

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Shirley Steele’s works TimeLapse:Swarm01b & c stand-out with their innovative use of inkjet printing.

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Caitlin Cass’s Build-Your-Own-History, a screen-print on wood, is a visionary tour-de-farce on the construction of history.

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Above is Gina Holmes’ Cabin, a heat transfer on wood.
And below, Marc Blumenthal’s Untitled Betty, a screen print and dye on aluminum, makes an aggressive and compelling use of halftone.

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Kay Healy’s Frank’s Bathtub, is a stuffed screen-print on fabric, that is both sad and charming in equal measure.

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Below, Lenore Thomas’s work, I’m an hour ahead of being more awesome than you (#3), combines screen-printing with “smoke” in a process that I can only imagine.

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Sarah Smelser continues to delight with her monotype, Equation, below.

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Audrey Frank Anastasi’s Hovering Sparrow, below.

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Johnny Plastini’s austere To the Left and Right of a Black Hole Sun is labeled as drypoint with salt flocking on handmade paper, but looks rather more like it was printed with ink derived from dark matter itself. Detail below.

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Katie Murken, experimental book and installation artist, has contributed her book Half-listening, which includes woodcut, screen-printing, and inkjet printing.

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Below is Hester Stinnett’s monoprint, Tracer (diptych), continues her poetic intertexual experimentation in print with this delightful diptych that seem to simultaneously reference/embrace the chance operations of Cage while maintaining an archivists eye for the personal narratives embedded in marginalia.

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Jean Burdick’s Passing Through is a screen-print on panel, above.

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And Lastly, but by no means leastly, Eli Vandenberg’s Dad’s Belt, drypoint and ink, brings to mind the work of Joan Linder, another artist who has the ability to imbue mundane objects with a sad honesty.

Whew. That was indeed a lot of good work, Thanks Projects Gallery!

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