By GUY D’ASTOLFO
A new exhibition at the McDonough Museum of Art demonstrates how far the art of printmaking has come.
For the first time, the museum is hosting the annual juried members exhibition of the Mid America Print Making Council.
Almost 90 pieces are on display in every gallery of the museum for the exhibition, which runs through March 15.
Leslie Brothers, director of the McDonough, calls the show an unexpected surprise. “How artists are changing the art of printmaking is reflected in this exhibition,” she said. “It shows how far printmaking has come. It’s very experimental.”
Printmaking refers not just to the making of original prints, defined as either one in a limited run or a reproduction. The umbrella also extends to books, handmade paper and drawings.
Many of the works in the exhibition overlay several techniques that might have been thought to be disparate at one time. In this way, the works push the boundaries, while also creating depth in both a literal and figurative sense.
“Cross Cultural Mash Up [Beyond Hokusai],” a work by Scott Ludwig, combines traditional printmaking with the delicateness of Japanese painting.
Several others take the form of giant hangings comprised of as many as 12 separate sheets.
One particular piece bears almost no connection to its printmaking roots: a waterfall created by shadows from light shining through horizontally-mounted prints on translucent plates. You have to see it to fully grasp it.
Almost all of the works in the exhibition are for sale. Brothers noted that prints are almost always reasonably priced, and for that reason have become popular and accessible art for home decoration.
The juror for the exhibition is Anita Jung, a professor at the University of Iowa and an artist who primarily uses print media for her own works.
Jung’s work has been exhibited throughout the United States and internationally in numerous exhibitions.
Currently, her focus is on creating opportunities for artistic exchange between the United States and India.
Joe Duva, an art faculty member at YSU and a member of the Mid America Print Making Council, was the local key to landing the exhibition for the McDonough. He approached Brothers two years ago, who then reached out to the MAPMC.