27 March 2008

More SGC: First Morning


Today the SGC Conference started for real, and it was nonstop once it started. The building above is the Landmark Theater where morning coffee is served and where the Keynote Address took place. Richmond friends tell me that the theater used to be called "The Mosque" and these photos will show you why:

spire that looks like a minaret, intricate tiling

tiling on ceiling

The Keynote was delivered by Shelly Bancroft and Peter Nesbett, co-publishers of Art On Paper magazine and co-directors of Triple Candie, a nonprofit art venue in Harlem.


Their wide-ranging talk gave an overview of a number of leading issues in the art world and more specifically the printmaking world today -- issues of collaboration, uniques vs. multiples -- but with my background as a commercial illustrator I most enjoyed hearing what they had to say about the magazine. They pointed out that often times the decisions they make from a graphic design standpoint can "misrepresent" the art they show. For example, large scale work is reduced or colors don't translate properly in the CMYK format. Design decisions end up being curatorial decisions, as some works are excluded based solely on the fact that they won't hold up on the printed page because they're too subtle, or there's a graphic preference for vertical pieces in a vertical magazine format, or a tendency to choose strong colors. I had never thought about the curatorial role of an art magazine in quite that way before.

David Jones

Next I went to a demonstration of CMYK Xerox transfer by David Jones, founder of Anchor Graphics in Chicago. Also known as gum transfer or paper plate lithography, the technique can print anything you can xerox. Jones works from his own photographs. He scans the photos and uses Photoshop to make CMYK color separations which he prints out on 8 1/2 x 11 inch paper using a fairly coarse screen. Then he enlarges the printouts and prints them with CMYK inks as paper plate lithographs. Here's a sample print and a closeup so you can see the dots in the screen. It's a lovely effect.



It's too late for me to blog more -- I'm exhausted! But I have a couple of demos to tell you about and lots of interesting gallery shows. There are 23 Richmond Galleries that have participated in this conference in some way. I'll try to do another post in the morning.


Ellen Shipley said...

This is all fascinating Annie. I bet you're exhausted!

My dh spent a decade in magazine printing, the computer end. But he had to deal with all the art decisions and the compromises, especially over color. It wasn't an art magazine, but there was artwork (cars and motorcycles and such), but the major effort would be to get the ads right first. ;-] And even that was a compromise because adjusting one would throw another out. So they'd find some happy medium.

I can see they've come a long way since then. I find the CMYX system quite interesting.

Have fun and report back!

Annie B said...

Yes indeed, the whole digital color, "real" color, CMYK color thing is crazy and it's SO hard to explain to people why the color simply can't look the same in every color gamut. But your dh is so right about the advertising having top color-correction priority in a magazine!