"Printer Proofs: Printmaking in Progress"
Heaven Gallery, through Sat.
Life is like a gyotaku: The journey may be more interesting than the fish print at its destination.
The process of creating art takes center stage in this overview of work by 21 print makers from across the country, which presents proofs alongside finished silk screens, etchings, woodblocks and lithographs. The best is Toucan Progression by Mark Phillips, which consists of 18 silk screens on paper panels.
Layer by layer, Phillips reconstructs a gorgeous red-tinted photograph of a Gothic building. The last few panels are variations on the completed image with accents in blue ink.
Another highlight is Stina Kaz’s Fantastical Mundacities, which resembles something the Scooby Gang would have produced if it experimented with lithography, etching and collage. Composed of paper cutouts applied directly to the gallery wall, the installation includes a green bird festooned with gold glitter, airplanes in flight, women cooking or serving food, and other fragments of what seem to be 1970s clip art overlaid with different patterns. Some pieces explore darker themes: In Jess Ferrone’s green-tinged photo-collagraph Fatty Acid, the image of a woman scrutinizing her naked body is rendered particularly disturbing by what appear to be magnified fat cells covering her flesh. The variety of styles and techniques on display is one of the show’s strengths, but the lack of information about the artists and their methods is frustrating—and unfortunately, a show this broad is bound to include some duds. Still, “Printer Proofs” offers ample evidence that a centuries-old art form is alive and kicking.—Lauren Weinberg