Jennifer Block, our intern from the University of Maryland, wrote the following reaction to our current exhibition, Excellence in Printmaking 2014. This show celebrates the work of MFA and BFA students from across the United States.
In the current exhibit Excellence in Printmaking, there is a diversity of subject matter and technique that make it so interesting. As I was looking through the collection, I began to notice the dark undertone of the pieces and that many had a bit of mystery to them. The collection of prints investigates the mysteries and relationship between life and death, which was interpreted very differently by each artist.In Lauren Bolstridge’s “Embellishments,” for instance, the softness of the flowers and the deer face is juxtaposed with the deer skull and dying flowers underneath. She used the same drypoint technique to depict another darker subject in her print titled “Face to Face,” in which a woman’s delicate face and flowing hair is contrasted with the skull she holds in her hands. The print is also split in two pieces which enforces the juxtaposition between life and death. Another print that caught my eye was “Where Did You Go?” by Kristine DeNinno, which makes the viewer feel as though they are lost in a dreary forest. In this collograph print, the horizontals cutting through the composition grabbed my attention. It gave me a feeling of ominousness which I paralleled with the print by Devon Mozdierz, “Caught in the Webs of a Log,” which also had a haunting atmosphere. The claw-like diagonal lines that dissected the piece, as well as the bright center, really draw the attention of the viewer. I also read Robert Darabos’ untitled spiral pieces as a depiction of life and death, the blues representing nighttime or death and the yellow and orange concentric circles representing sunlight or life. They stood out from the rest due to their simplicity and bold palette in comparison to the other very technical and intricate prints.
WPG’s Excellence in Printmaking 2014 exhibition will continue through Sunday, February 23.