SUNY New Paltz Printmaking Department

Note: This blog is managed by the printmaking program, Professor Rimer Cardillo, and Assistant Professor Jill Parisi at SUNY New Paltz. It is not an official communication of SUNY.

Currency: An Exchange

Currency, An Exchange

Curated by Dylan McManus
Artists: Dylan McManus, Todd Martin, Molly Rausch, and Curtis Readel
Venue: Team Love/Raven House Church Street, New Paltz, NY 12561

This playful show twists and expands on various terms and aspects of printmaking. Using printed US currency as a theme, Currency, an Exchange refers to our existence within a capitalist society as we exchange money for goods and services. Curator Dylan McManus has selected the work of three fellow artists whose work deals with this theme and his new suite of seven prints, Portraits of a Recession, is also featured in the show at Team Love/Raven House’s wonderful little space in New Paltz. 

Printmaking is ideally suited to an exchange of ideas between maker and audience and between fellow artists, both in regard to the creation of the multiple and its ability to reach a wide audience, and the nature of collaborative work and community in the print shop setting. The show’s title also refers to printmaking as an exchange of ideas through imagery that is most often generated as multiples. It speaks to contemporary printmaking techniques in many ways as well, referencing an exchange of older methods such as engraving for newer ones such as digital printing. Another layer of word play refers to the idea of a print exchange, something that many printmakers organize and participate in. A print exchange is based on a concept/title and usually has the restriction of a paper size, and possibly technical restrictions. 

Each artist in the exhibitions uses prints to realize their work in various manners. Painter Molly Rausch uses printed matter as a basis for her small, colorful paintings and collages. For example, there is Early currency came in perforated sheets, an image of a fascinating eight-cent bill. Rausch’s stamp paintings provide wonderful opportunities for imagery that acts as allegory for the current economic situation, in particular, with the U.S. Postal system crisis itself. 200 Years of Postal Service, based on an image of a thirteen-cent stamp, harkens back to an earlier time. The steam engine train depicted on it reminds us of the grand heyday of the rail system, of robber barons, and if not obsolescence, then certainly the constantly shifting horizon, the dawning of a new age and the new ways that come with it. Ear of Providence features the pyramid from a US dollar bill refers to Egypt’s even more ancient lost empire, and reminds us of that country’s current turmoil. 

Curtis Readel has been working with currency for several years, embarking on this concept just prior to the 2008 economic recession. Cutting one-dollar bills and collaging them together, Readel creates images that refer to the financial institutions driving the American (and also global) economy in ironic and humorous ways. Two of Readel’s four letter word collages feel like the lines of a comic book alter ego exclamation for a storyboard where one has lost a job, couldn’t pay a bill on time, or looked at a retirement account after it has tanked. His most dramatic piece in the show depicts the Empire State Building, alluding to New York City and Wall Street, and what was once the tallest building in the city for many years. The Empire State Building regained this title once more after September 11, 2001, but recently lost it in 2012 due to reconstruction of One World Trade Center. The Devourer II riffs on Edvard Munch’s The Scream, a work that set new auction records in May of 2012, selling for 120 million dollars. (During the course of Currency, An Exchange, on November 12, 2013, Francis Bacon’s Three Studies of Lucian Freud eclipsed this sum, the Bacon panels selling at 142.2 million dollars.)

Todd Martin works with currency as an aspect of performance and activism, and during the exhibition he sits in the gallery or in front of it several hours each week as he types messages on dollar bills with an old typewriter. Visitors can either exchange their bill for one Martin has already typed on, or they can request a special message. He urges the viewer/consumer to consider what they are purchasing and where they are spending their money with this subversive act. The performance aspect is effective in providing a platform for engaging in conversations about local and sustainable economies and generates interest as passersby stop and become intrigued about what’s on the walls inside. Martin began this project as the 99% movement took off during 2011 and has continued it. New Paltz with a mind towards sustainability and local commerce provides a great audience that includes locals, students, and tourists.

Dylan McManus’s exciting new prints are the smallest works on paper the artist has created to date, but they are powerful and innovative. A playful collaboration, this series employs bills with engraved images as a substrate. McManus’s work with currency was inspired by the economic downturn of 2008 as well, and by the working class. The engraved bills U.S. will eventually be replaced by digitally printed ones. This replacement of our printed currency by the most standard current printing method reminds one of questions and conversations around printmaking’s current use of traditional and digital technology. Six portraits and one self-portrait are “printed” on one-dollar bill fragments and displayed against a black background. The images are burned into the bills with a laser cutter, the artist controlling the depth of the burn so that the material is singed to various degrees, or burned all the way through. The result of this digital pyrography is striking: delicate facial features, t-shirt logos, and plaids are realized in highly sensitive manner by means of digital technology, and have the feeling of sketches rendered with a sharp pencil and carefully handmade laces. Upon close inspection one can see the watermarks embedded in the bill revealed by the laser cutting process in new ways, and the various layers of the bill when the delicate linen fibers trail across the black background. These tiny threads emphasize the material composing the substrate of the bill and how the bill is composed of and now held together, by very apparent individual threads. 

Team Love Raven House is open weekends 12:00 – 5:00pm and by appointment. Go see the Currency an Exchange; it will be on display until November 30th, and a closing party will be announced on Team Loves Website, http://www.tl-rh.com/

Jill Parisi 11.18.2013

LECTURE SERIES!

We are proud to announce Paula von Sydow, curator at the Horst Janssen Museum in Germany, will hold a lecture at 6:30PM in LC 108 this Tuesday, October 2!

Open to the entire SUNY - The State University of New York and community, Sydow’s lecture will focus on the work of Horst Janssen. Janssen, 1929-1995, was an artist employing drawing, etching, and wood engraving in his works; he was also a lithographer, a poster artist, an illustrator and author. Landscape, erotic, portraits, still life and self-portraiture characterize his extensive work. Paula’s lecture will also familiarize the audience with the International Print Network. The Horst Janssen Museum is one of the hosts of the International Print Network exhibitions, along with institutions in Poland, Sweden, Austria and Turkey. Ms. von Sydow curated the most recent exhibition in this series.

Dean Dass Visit

Last week, we were incredibly fortunate to have artist Dean Dass speak at SUNY New Paltz!! Addressing the importance of art in today’s world, Dass inspired many students to “re-enchant the world” and encourage hope through their work.  A professor at the University of Virginia, Dass is an artist who blurs the lines of artistic disciplines by developing his concepts through bookmaking, printmaking, painting, and sculpture. Always maintaining a connection to the natural world, the central focus of Dass’s work is the ideas of reconstruction and rebirth. His artwork has been featured across the country, including Finland and Poland. Learn more about Dean at http://www.virginia.edu/art/studio/faculty/dass.html

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GALLERY NEWS!! We are proud to announce that our visiting Assistant Professor Sheila Goloborotko is featured in an exhibition commemorating the one year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy! Entitled “For & About: Art & Reactions to Superstorm Sandy”, the exhibition opens in Brooklyn this Friday, September 27 and will show until February 14, 2014.
GALLERY NEWS! Throughout the month of October, we are thrilled to announce that Jill Parisi-Philips, Sheila Goloborotko, and Dylan McManus are all featured in the international exhibition, Global Print 2013, which displays over 300 artists from all over the globe!

LIVE SCREEN PRINTING AT THE SUNY NEW PALTZ FARMERS MARKET!

New Semester! New Events!

To kick off the Fall 2013 semester, the Print Club will be LIVE SCREEN PRINTING this Thursday, September 19th! Beginning next week and continuing throughout the semester, the SUNY New Paltz Print Club will be selling reusable hand-printed tote bags at the SUNY New Paltz Farmers Market. The bags will feature student work and sell for $5 to $8 each. We will also be selling T-shirts and patches from $2 to $10.

Join us outside of the Lecture Center from 10:30 - 2:30 every Thursday!

Screen Play: Hudson Valley Artists 2013

Until November 10th The Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art will be showing their annual Hudson Valley artists exhibit. Vernon Bryon, an Alum of the SUNY New Paltz Printmaking Department, will be showing two pieces in the museum which are part of the larger show entitled Screen Play curated by Daniel Belasco. 

Stop by & check it out!

Last Friday Master Printer Devraj Dakoji visited Jill’s lithography class and did a demo on printing stone litho in Sharpie! Devraj was born in India and works at Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop, he teaches at the workshop and at Manhattanville College. Here are some photos from his visit.
He drew on the stone with several materials, litho crayons and a variety of markers so we could see which would work. He worked on two stones, one grained to 220 grit and another to 400 grit:
Then he processed the two stones, one with gum and nitric acid and one with straight TAPEM:

The two stones washed out and ready to be rolled up:

Devraj and Jill try to identify a can of ink (he later showed us how to do so by smelling it):

Roll up and second etch:

First proof:


We had a great time and learned a ton!
Visit Blackburn’s website to learn more about the shop and it’s workshops!
Today, the Printmaking Program had the honor and privilege of hosting a visit from writer, artist, self-proclaimed baker, and curator Richard Noyce. We were fortunate to be able to schedule a visit from him while he was staying in Toronto, as he is usually at his home across the pond.
Full of anecdotes and good humor, Richard met with printmaking students to individually talk about their work, hosted an artist statement writing workshop, and gave a public lecture on campus where he read an essay and discussed artists from his latest book, Printmaking At the Edge, which will be released this fall.
To learn more about Richard, visit his website here.
Everyone had a blast and learned a lot from Richard and we are all so grateful we had this opportunity! 

The printmakers of New Paltz have returned from SGC!
We had a great time in Milwaukee, above are just a few photos from our excursion. We got to see a multitude of demonstrations and discussions and see printmakers from all over the world! Almost everyone participated in the open portfolio sessions, some of us even managed to snag a few unclaimed tables during the extra sessions. Prints were sold and traded, free samples were stocked up on, conference sales were taken advantage of, and connections were made both on a personal and professional level!

We got to see well-known shops and publishers such as Drive By Press, Cannonball Press, Death Metal Press, Just Seeds, our neighbor Women’s Studio Workshop, and even one of our recent alumni’s new project New Academy Press!

Along with all the SGC madness, everyone loved Milwaukee. The city lives up to its reputation for great food and great breweries! Eating in the city was one of our favorite parts of the trip. We were lucky enough to have a friend who was born and raised in the city to act as a tour guide and provide a place to stay for some of the students, who couldn’t have asked for a more comfortable and welcoming place to sleep at night! We went to the Milwaukee Art Museum, visited local parks, and saw some silly tourist attractions like the Bronze Fonz. 

So, despite the 30 hours of driving and the endless amounts of snacks consumed en route, we all had a blast. Here’s hoping we’re able to get as many students to go to San Francisco for next year’s conference!

Now that we’re back we’re in spring break, then (maybe even already) many of our students are gearing up for their undergraduate and graduate thesis shows. We’ve got five MFA’s and three BFA’s leaving us this spring, and while we’re definitely sad to see them go, we’re very excited to see what the shows look like and what they’ll do in the future!