08 November 2010

Print Week NY 2010 - EAB Fair

I'm back from my whirlwind 14-hour trip to New York to see this year's Print Week offerings, or at least as many as I could cram into that short amount of time. This year there was a new fair, the "Lighthouse" Fine Print and Drawing Fair, in addition to the EAB (Editions/Artist's Books) Fair and the venerable (20 years!) IFPDA Print Fair at the Armory. Each of the fairs had its own personality and emphasis, which made for an interesting day. I'll look at each fair in its own post over the next few days.

My first stop was the EAB (Editions/Artist's Books) Fair in Chelsea. Of the three print fairs, this one is the broadest. It's kind of a hybrid event featuring artist's books, two-dimensional prints and works on paper, three-dimensional multiples, small installations, and even some video. It's definitely the most contemporary and hip of the three fairs and the most accessible with its free admission. Here are a few exhibitors that were highlights for me.

"Grass 2.2" moku hanga by Mike Lyon, 22.5 x 72 inches
I was happy to see Center for Contemporary Printmaking from Connecticut. CCP, the self-described "only nonprofit organization between New York City and Boston solely dedicated to the art of the print," is located fairly close to where I live, but shamefully I've not made it there yet for a visit. I was excited to see that CCP was showing Mike Lyon's moku hanga print "Grass 2.2" (shown above). Mike has been a virtual friend on various printmaking web sites for several years but I've never seen his work in real life so it was a treat. I was surprised when the CCP representative who I spoke with didn't know that Mike cuts his large blocks with a computer-controlled router. That fact, to me, is one of the most interesting aspects of Mike's work -- he designed, built and programmed the carving router and also designed and built a very large-bed press with a special system to deliver the large sheets dampened paper to the bed. This equipment is quite amazing in its own right.

"Untitled" by Jiha Moon
I've been interested in the artist Jiha Moon ever since I had the opportunity to watch her work with master printer Peter Pettingill at Smith College a couple of years ago, so when I saw a piece that looked like her work at the Landfall Press booth I had to stop and investigate. The recently completed print, shown at right, is more understated than some of Moon's other work and I really like it. The white pieces of paper you see at the top are fortune cookie fortunes. I'm not sure if this is an etching or a lithograph. Anyone know?

Unlike some exhibitors at the other fairs, representatives at the EAB Fair seemed willing and in fact eager to talk with just about everyone who was passing through. I had a nice conversation with a man who was selling Esopus magazine. Esopus is an arts magazine published twice a year that features fresh work from a wide range of creatives, themed for each issue. A sampling of fiction, poetry, visual essays, interviews, etc. can be found in each issue, plus a themed CD of new music. I bought a subscription!

"Settlements" by Serena Perrone
I also enjoyed some time at the Cade Tompkins Editions booth. Cade Tompkins is an art dealer who also represents RISD Editions, the Rhode Island School of Design's visiting artist’s program in the Printmaking Department. At the booth I saw work by Daniel Heyman as well as Serena Perrone's wonderful etching plus moku hanga piece shown above, printed by Ningyo Editions.

"I Am Living…" by Graham Gillmore
I want to note one other work, a screenprint by Graham Gillmore. The Dorfman Projects booth displayed four or five different versions of this piece, each with a different hand-painted background, and there was something quite heart-wrenching about the sentiment expressed. If you're an artist, you can't read these words without irony, yet you also know that these same words are held deep in an artist's heart where they ring with complete earnestness. I found myself deeply touched by that dichotomy.

Next I'll blog about the new "Lighthouse" Fair.


Hannah said...

It is interesting that you mentioned Jiha Moon here. I met her recently because she is curating a show I am participating in, at Get This Gallery in Atlanta. I sent her the link to your blog so maybe she can answer your question about the Snow White print in person. :D

It kind of looks like a litho at first glance but I think she likes to work back into prints with inks and brushes. So the lines and washes may be different processes...

david curcio said...

Thanks for the shout out on Serena's new print! I really enjoy your blog and hope you'll come visit ningyo editions next time you're in Boston.
Thnx again,