‘Printmaking’ Sounds Boring; A New Exhibition Says Otherwise:
The Cindy Lisica Gallery in Montrose debuts an international printmaking exhibition with works experimenting with mixed media and even Instagram data.
By: Julia Gsell
Houstonia Magazine, July 2017
LAYERS OF HANDMADE PAPERS, fishing net and even Swarovski crystals make up just a few of the works on the walls in Montrose’s Cindy Lisica Gallery. Each work has been made by some process of printmaking—even though it might not be in its most traditional sense.
This exhibition, Fine Wind, Clear Morning, showcases work from seven artists from across the world. The title is a callback to the most traditional form of printmaking, referencing the Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai, who created famous woodblock prints of Mount Fuji and The Great Wave, with the latter now slapped on everything from shirts to scarves at The Met. Lisica says she chose this title for both its reference to traditional woodblock printing and the dreamy, fluid atmosphere it creates for a group show.
In the first series taking up the entire left wall of the gallery, Guyana-born artist Gavin Benjamin collages paintings and photographs on lacquered wood panels. Garnished with small crystals, these colorful representations of ball gowns, human busts and flowers lead into his next section, filled with decoupage blocks of flowers and beach scenes.
On the back wall, Deborah Nehmad overlays handmade Japanese papers on top of dip-dyed paper. Nehmad burns her papers with a heating wand, leaving unique burn holes in each work.
The largest piece in the gallery, Felipe Lopez’s, Embers of Land Reclamation, anchors the exhibition. Lopez is the only Houston-based artist featured in the exhibition and was inspired by his love for water for this piece. “The oceanic clean up process has so many metaphors people can instantaneously identify with,” he says. “Water is a protective resource, and we don’t pay attention to that.” Lopez used a piece of fishing net to create nearly 50 silk-screen like layers to complete his work.
Two paper prints by British artist Charles Uzzell-Edwards, or PURE EVIL, hang on the other side of Lopez’s piece. His signature teardrop drips all the way down and puddles on the floor to trademark his graffiti-style work.
On the right wall of the gallery, digital prints from Minka Stoyanova collage bright colors by swapping binary image data with images from Instagram. Stoyanova’s work comes to Houston all the way from Hong Kong.
If you look closely, you’ll see physical objects disguised in Jamie Earnest’s combination of painting and printmaking. After working on each print, she individually sews them onto a separate canvas.
At the end of the exhibition, Chun Hui Pak uses color and texture to depict origami folds of an iris. The same woodblock was used with each print, but different shading along different folds creates an entirely different image.
“With this exhibition, I really wanted to show non-traditional and hybrid work,” Lisica says.