Exhibits feature printmaking, 'Works on Paper: Works With Paper' - Albuquerque Journal

Exhibits feature printmaking, ‘Works on Paper: Works With Paper’

The Remarque New Grounds Print Workshop and Gallery represents contemporary printmakers using a broad spectrum of styles and techniques that often push toward a redefinition of print making.

The “Altered States – Works on Paper: Works With Paper” solo show by Pati Hays and the “Fifth Annual International Juried Printmaking Exhibition” are both fine examples of how the parameters of printmaking are being expanded.

Hays offers a biological foray across the micro- and macro-cosmos in one of the most richly earthy shows I’ve seen of late. She uses the collagraphy printing process, which lends itself to a mixture of techniques, materials and differing levels of tooling ranging from a hand brayer to an etching press.

Collagraphy is an open forum that Hays revels in with works using scrap iron, paper, acrylic medium, encaustic, organic dross including leaves, sticks and twigs. The biomorphic results jump off the wall onto sculpture stands, as in “Biocosmic,” a free-standing work emblemizing the heliosphere.

Also noteworthy is Hays’ “Dragonfly Box” combining an altered linocut captured within a Chinese box. Other dragonfly pieces like “Gathering” emblemizing both the interface and artificial barriers between human and natural forces.

“Biocosmic” by Pati Hays incorporates collagraphy, sculpture and encaustic techniques to create a substantial free-standing statement about our biological destiny.

Hays’ ambitious solo show, containing far more content than mentioned here, deserves a long, slow look.

Though not a razzle-dazzle-showcase, the international juried show is quietly brimming with excellence and is overall a solid cross section of current printmaking.

“Local Fields” by Larinda Meade is a luscious landscape rendering that combines the realistic depiction of a windy day infused with the energetic flourish of abstract expressionism. This diptych presentation is phenomenally powerful and skillfully accomplished.

In “Yakuza Bar,” a double portrait woodcut, David Curcio evokes memories of actual bar scenes with stylistic hints from Alex Katz and Roy Lichtenstein – that is, if their work expressed genuine emotional tension. Curcio is a strong draftsman and commands a broad-spectrum palette.

“Halifax House” by William Hays is a beautifully rendered and executed linocut print that is reminiscent of finely wrought linocuts by the late Russell Hamilton. Hays lives in Vermont, where such houses on tree-covered hilltops are quite common. However, Hays’ extraordinary skill set is rare.

Among the many gee-whiz pieces is “Swinging” by Kouki Tsuritani, in glorious black-and-white that is both a joyful and scary mezzotint representing how well early 20th century surrealism and contemporary angst can be expressed using a very old printmaking technique in the hands of a highly skilled artist.

Tsuritani’s architectonic composition features a spiral core reminiscent of a surf-worn conch shell. At the bottom is a koi-like fish in a cage. To quote Bob Dylan, “Something is happening here but you don’t know what it is, do you Mr. Jones?”

Both shows are well-worth a lingering visit, and now that Central is clear of earthmovers and orange barrels it’s pretty easy to get there. Two thumbs up.

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