31 March 2010

SGC Philadelphia Trip - PAFA

Thursday at SGC Richmond was my favorite day. I saw some magnificent art and watched a couple of great demonstrations.

First thing in the morning there was an artist's presentation by Carl Pope in the big conference hall. I knew very little about Pope before hearing his talk. In 2000 his work was in the Whitney Biennial and most of the work he does is text-based, whether letterpressed, carved into rock, or carved onto his own skin. Some of his work (like the skin work) is hard to look at, but I like that it's socially engaged, that he uses language and that he involves the community in many of his pieces. The project I liked the best was done in 1996 in Hartford CT called "Silent Wishes, Unconscious Prayers and Dreams...Fullfilled" in which Pope interviewed family and friends of several Hartford young people who had died as a result of violence. He then etched the words of the deceased as remembered by those close to them onto large boulders.
Hartford CT was the site of Pequot massacre, it's where the handgun was invented, and it's the capital of the life insurance industry. - Carl Pope
I spent the rest of the day at Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA). PAFA is one of five venues presenting the exhibition The Graphic Unconscious in conjunction with Philagrafika 2010, Philadelphia’s international festival celebrating the print in contemporary art. The PAFA exhibit was top on my list because there was so much relief work there and so many well-known artists. Unfortunately I got yelled at for taking photographs so I only have a couple of shots, but check out this article by artnet's Deborah Ripley for a full review of the show.

Blocks used for animation in the video Serigala Militia by the Jakarta-based artist collective Tromarama

Israeli artist Orit Hofshi’s mixture of carvings and prints (photo from artnet.com)

Christiane Baumgartner’s huge 11-foot wide hand-carved woodcut (photo from philagrafika web site)

Also at PAFA was an amazing exhibit of over 50 works by 25 contemporary artists all printed at C. R. Ettinger Studio over the past 10 years. I briefly met master printer Cindi Ettinger at IPCNY last winter, but I had no idea until now the range of the gorgeous work she produces. Her Philadelphia-based studio specializes in etching, but it's clear that she has no qualms about integrating new techniques as she collaborates with various artists. For example, there was a dimensional piece by Daniel Heyman on display that involved etchings printed directly onto plywood (right). The exhibit will be up until April 18 if you want to try to catch it.

1 comment:

Ellen Longo said...

Hi, Annie. Do you mind if I ask you a question? Do you ever get discouraged when you see so much talent and such a huge body of work? Or is it always inspiring? Sometimes I think, why bother, there is no way my work can ever have an impact amid so much and so much more established talents.

Any comments?