Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Woodcuts in ICPNY's New Prints 2014/Summer Exhibition (Part 2 of 3)

...continued from yesterday

Clouds and Reflections III
 by Jelena Sredanovic 

Dreamed I was a bird
Flying above the clouds, where

Boundaries mean nothing. 

Sredanovic has a whole series of woodcuts of clouds, as well as woodcuts of reflections, shadows, and ripples in water. What a remarkable challenge: to capture in a still image that which is so fluid and translucent using wood, which is so solid and opaque, not to mention difficult to carve.    

As I learned from her website, Sredanovic earned her MFA from the Academy of Fine Arts in Novi Sad in 2005 and is now working on her PhD at the University of Arts in Belgrade. She shows regularly in Serbia and Spain, as well as other parts of the world. 

Waterway by Gesine Janzen 

At first I think I notice only the creek. It is an odd, meandering shape, like a wrench that's being melted down for scrap. I see that across the way there are trees, and much closer to where I stand there are low-lying plants, reeds and such. Nothing is in focus, and the colors are so muted and grey. Not muddy grey, but cold. The longer I look, the more it seems that everything around here is disintegrating. As the pieces fall away, I notice more water. Water seeped into cracks and other unassuming spaces. Water from the sky. Water underground.  Water that makes a squishing noise when it mingles with the earth under my feet. I see how the water belongs to everything. 
Gesine Janzen is a prolific printmaker; her portfolios (which you can check out on her website) feature mostly color woodcuts. Her work reflects a deep connection to the American Midwestern landscape. Waterway is from a whole series depicting the Missouri River. Being from the Midwest myself, I recognize the vastness and peaceful solitude. 

Architectural Possibilities (Articulation no. 20) by John-Marc SchlinkI find myself pondering the play between what is (merely? breathtakingly?) possible and what is (disappointingly? astoundingly?) real. The seductive power of Platonic forms verses the flawed reality that feeds us. A hastily-written notation on a preliminary blueprint verses a solid, metal pipe. 

Schlink teaches at Hamline University and is better known for his intaglio prints. Indeed, this print is a woodcut over an intaglio print. It is part of a whole series of Architectural Possibilities. I love how the rough textures of the woodcut portions of the image interact with the much more precise and shadowy etched portions. 

Continue on to the third and final installment of this exhibition review. 

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