Posts tagged printmaking

On Tuesday juniors in the Printmaking department gathered on the first floor of Memorial Hall to share their series of smart work at a final critique. After taking a deep breath, Sophia Oldsman 15 PR tacked up a series of kooky prints portraying two little girls with oversized hands and buggy eyeballs.

In each edition, the cartoonish caricatures are wearing a slightly different costume associated with playful activities such as skating or snowball making. The artist used a vintage black and white photo of her older sisters to anchor the quirky collection. 

Brian Chippendale 97 PR*, a former Printmaking major who is now a well-known comic book artist and noise musician, served as a guest critic for the class taught by Professor Cornelia McSheehy.

“These are super funny. I love it when people embrace the basic repetition of Printmaking,” noted Chippendale while looking over Oldsman’s series. “It would be great to have the room completely plastered with sister activity. Your work feels like it contains a buried joke.”

Oldsman explained that much of her work is inspired by family dynamics. She plans to continue exploring these themes oversees while participating in the European Honors Program in Rome next semester. “I like to use my memories from childhood to guide my work,” she notes. “It’s available subject matter.”

Those who stopped by Thursday’s opening reception for a provocative Printmaking show now on view in Benson Hall may have spied the familiar face of comedian Jerry Seinfeld when checking out shrines assembled by Carter Davis 15 PR. A novel by the cheeky stand-up actor made its way into Infinite Misery, the printmaker’s latest installation incorporating found objects and two-dimensional pieces (pictured above).

Davis routinely uses antique letterpress printing blocks to create work with an old-timey look. “I used a Vandercook press to print the typography,” he explained, gesturing towards his work. “It invokes a feeling of the roaring 20s.”

In addition to the glowing shrine, visitors were curious about A Mountain Stream, The Crying Bird, Move Swifty, a humorous installation by Hardy Hill 15 PR. Balancing a bundle of leafy vegetables against a wall fixture, the artist challenges viewers to rethink their approach to food.

“I’m finding that students are making work that is political and explores current social problems,” notes Printmaking Professor Cornelia McSheehy. “The work is really smart.”

See the show now on view at Benson Hall through Tuesday, November 19!

Put a Bird On It

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Visiting alum Jane Kim 03 PR spent today on the RISD Beach putting the finishing touches on Put a Bird On It, a public art installation that encourages participants to learn more about the native bird species that make intricate homes right in our backyards.

Tomorrow (Saturday) the California-based artist will facilitate a workshop that encourages alumni, RISD parents and families visiting campus for RISD by Design weekend to paint eggs and playfully explore a large “bird house.” The installation will also include large portraits of Rhode Island bird species. 

“I’m hoping the audience comes away [from the installation] with an awareness of their surroundings,” notes Kim. “Hopefully that inspires them to build a nurturing relationship with the environment.”

(For those who watch the comedic sketch series Portlandia, the exhibition’s name was inspired by a recent episode that pokes fun at the rising popularity of absurd bird art.)

Icy Exploration

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Amanda Thackray MFA 12 PR will soon be spending her summer solstice suited up in a cold weather gear. The RISD alum is among a small crew of artists and scientists chosen to participate in a two-week residency program that takes place on Barquentine tall ship bound for the Arctic Circle. 

“I am extremely excited to be a part of this voyage,” notes Thackray. “I’m intrigued by the Arctic’s landscape.”

While aboard the wooden vessel, the printmaker anticipates that the ship’s nautical line will deeply inspire her sketches. “I will learn to tie knots with traditional rope and my own paper rope. These structures will form the foundations of my still life drawings.” 

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To help fund the icy expedition that departs in June, the printmaker launched a Kickstarter campaign to partially fund her flight to Longyearbyen, Norway. Donors will receive tokens of Thackray’s appreciation in the form of graphite drawings inspired by the ship’s rigging.

“Your thoughtful contributions to this project will help to further my research and allow me explore the Arctic through collaborative artistic experimentation,” writes Thackray. “I can’t wait to embark on this journey.”

Cynthia Poon 13 ID pulled back a sheet of fabric, crouched down low and entered a cocoon of warm colors and soft light. The industrial designer had followed her friend into Book of Leaves, a beautiful tent-like structure made by Stephanie Chung 13 PR. The piece was constructed out of plexiglas rods and painted fabric. 

“When you’re inside, the fabric looks illuminated,” Poon noted while running her hand through the interior cloth lining the structure. “You have to become a part of the piece to appreciate it to the fullest.”

The veiled framework was just one of the interactive pieces on view at the Printmaking Senior Exhibition opening reception held at Woods-Gerry on Thursday. The show runs through April 30. 

Others flocked to Dancin’ With Myself, a live performance by Kathleen Villari 13 PR. The printmaker danced on a stage decorated with pink fabric pieces in the shape of limbs. 

Students also couldn’t help but notice Corpuscule, a large mixed media piece by Andrew Kensett 13 PR that hangs from the foyer in Woods-Gerry. 

To read more about the wonderful pieces on view at the Printmaking Senior Exhibition, click on the photos above!

Critic Daniel Heyman in our Printmaking department is exhibiting next door at Brown at the David Winton Bell Gallery from April 3 to May 26 at the List Art Center. Congratulations, Daniel! -JM

Critic Daniel Heyman in our Printmaking department is exhibiting next door at Brown at the David Winton Bell Gallery from April 3 to May 26 at the List Art Center. Congratulations, Daniel! -JM

California-based animal lover and artist Jane Kim 03 PR is on a mission to create a series of roadside murals to help connect the public with some of the most endangered species living nearby.

She recently completed murals along California’s Route 395 highlighting the plight of the 500 elusive Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep remaining in the mountains and is now working to raise funds to continue her conservation work.

Find out more about Kim’s Migrating Murals project in this story on risd.edu. Jane is also planning to return RISD this fall for her 10th reunion and will be doing a public art project on campus on Saturday, October 12 as part of RISD by Design weekend.

Hip-Hop-Era Giacometti

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Huma Bhabha 85 PR could hardly dream of a better response to Unnatural Historiesher current solo show at MoMA PS1, than this ecstatic summary in The New Yorker:

A stunning abundance of recent sculpture and works on paper by the Pakistani-born virtuoso. Who would have thought that today’s strongest sculptor would advance forms of pedestalled figures with heart-wrenching, humanistic content? For all their slangy use of Styrofoam, wire mesh, crumpled drainpipes, bones, and other detritus – along with the more traditional wood, plaster, and bronze – Bhabha’s creations convincingly resuscitate several sorts of lapsed tradition, both primitive and classical. She’s our hip-hop-era Giacometti. 

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In its own rave review (called Huma Bhabha Does Rodin Meets Mad Max), The Village Voice calls Bhabha’s sculpture “a rare species of mesmerizing bravura 3D art.”

And New York Times critic Karen Rosenberg notes that the juxtaposition of the materials she uses is “arresting,” with the overall effect of the show being to “bookend the history of figurative sculpture, from ancient fertility icons to what could be the last vestiges of the human race.”

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In this post from polich tallix foundry, you can find out more about Bhabha’s process for producing her lost-wax cast pieces – some weighing as much as 1,100 lbs.

Unnatural Histories continues at MOMA PS1 through April 1.

On Valentine’s Day, Kevin Cochran 14 PR was enjoying a fantasy many red-blooded men would be happy to entertain. The Printmaking major had his pick of – not one – but six beautiful women. The only downside: they don’t have much depth. 

Cochran’s female companions are part of All My Girlfriends, an exhibition now on display at RISD’s Benson Hall Gallery. Each image is given a girlish moniker and distinct personality. For instance, Cassie is a busty brunette with a seductive gaze. “Everyone thinks she’s the cutest girl in town!” reads the caption.

“These are girls I’d actually be attracted to in real life,” explains Cochran. “I’m actually pretty attached to them at this point. This is my version of utopia.”

To make his lovely ladies, Cochran created the images in DAZ Studio (a sophisticated animation program) and then screenprinted the images onto large swaths of paper.

Aside from being easy on the eyes, Cochran says the pieces make a statement on the way the Internet has skewed modern social conventions. Specifically, the collection was inspired by his fascination with online communities that act out fetishes using Internet avatars.

“For a lot of people, these rendered women can successfully incite human emotions,” the artist explains. “And that can look a lot like love.”

Professor Andrew Raftery in our Printmaking Department is on the cover of Art in Print this month with a new article as well. And he was recently named as the first artist elected to membership on the Print Council of America. Congratulations Andrew! -JM

Professor Andrew Raftery in our Printmaking Department is on the cover of Art in Print this month with a new article as well. And he was recently named as the first artist elected to membership on the Print Council of America. Congratulations Andrew! -JM

Line Art Like No Other

Wesleyan University’s Davison Art Center in Middletown, CT is featuring a series of amazing copper-plate engravings by Professor Andrew Raftery, master of the insanely exacting art form. The entire process is so involved that it took more than six years to plan for and execute the Open House series now at Wesleyan.

Andrew Raftery: Open House, which is accompanied by a catalogue explaining his process,continues through December 9 at Wesleyan’s main gallery.

Congratulations to Olympic Records in Providence, which received Best CD/Record Store honors from the Providence Phoenix. The store has all the best vinyl and because it’s owned by Kevin Morosini MFA 04 PR, you know it’s going to have cool things like these rad screen printed bags for your purchases.

For more info about Olympic, check out their Tumblr.

Congratulations to Olympic Records in Providence, which received Best CD/Record Store honors from the Providence Phoenix. The store has all the best vinyl and because it’s owned by Kevin Morosini MFA 04 PR, you know it’s going to have cool things like these rad screen printed bags for your purchases.

For more info about Olympic, check out their Tumblr.