From the Muddy Banks of the Monongahela Exhibition Coordinator: Joseph A Lupo, Assistant Professor of Art, West Virginia University Catalogue Designer: Brad Robertson, graphic design senior, Studio 2453, West Virginia University
An exhibition of contemporary prints made by West Virginia University printmaking alumni and former professors
It is my pleasure to introduce this collection of new works that provide an overview of the strength and scope of the printmaking program in the Division of Art and Design at West Virginia University. The generosity of the Myers Foundations, allows the Division to encourage unique projects such as this traveling exhibition and catalogue. We were able to document the prints of our most recent graduates and include work from a broad spectrum of artists who have taught here.
This catalogue will give future students a perspective on the past and current history of this outstanding program. It has been an inspiration to work with the talented students and faculty represented here and especially with current coordinator of the printmaking area, Joseph Lupo. Alison Helm Chair, Division of Art and Design Professor of Art College of Creative Arts West Virginia University
When I conceived this project, the challenge of creating a successful contemporary print exhibition and portfolio was the first thing on my mind. What I quickly realized was that being associated with West Virginia University gave me access to many very successful and important contemporary printmakers. Over the years, I have repeatedly bumped into many artists who have worked in our shop as either student or faculty. I have also had the pleasure of teaching some amazing students, who have gone on to graduate school and beyond. Soon it became obvious to me that I could organize a successful and diverse contemporary print exhibition just by contacting artists associated with WVU. The participants in this exhibition have a connection to WVU that spans over twenty years. They are alumni and former professors. They all have walked through the top floor of the Creative Arts Center and used the same presses and equipment that my students and I use today.
I have also had the pleasure of teaching some amazing students, who have gone on to graduate school and beyond.
The excitement in the responses I received from these artists is proof that while many of them live far away from Morgantown, there is still a connection and respect for the program and the effect it has had on their lives. The diversity of imagery and subject matter stand out in this group of prints. I believe this variety is a testament to the belief that concept and imagery should work along side process and not be dictated by it. It was a jarring realization to think that an artist like Patricia Villalobos Echeverria (MFA, WVU, 1990), who pushes the “discourse of (post)humanity and de(materialization) [to] redefine both body and site via painting, photos, prints, sound/video and installations” and Robert Bridges (MFA, WVU, 1987), who “walks a formal tightrope between obsessive recording of the natural world and abstract transformations of it” worked in the same studio around the same time. Michelle Moode’s (MFA, WVU, 2007) work is “an exploration of the non-linear nature of memory so that each piece is
an abstract record of her thoughts.” Matt Forrest (MFA, WVU, 2008) is currently focused on producing works of art that reflect his interest in documenting and understanding local religious organizations within the city of Pittsburgh, and surrounding areas. I had the pleasure of teaching both artists, their artwork and interests couldn’t be any more different. They are great examples of the WVU Printmaking Area’s ability to offer an education where an emphasis is placed on both tradition and personal exploration, while no style or technique/process is valued over another. The quality of individual work has always been the measure of success for our program. I would like to thank all artists involved in this exhibition for making room in their very busy schedules to make prints specifically for this project. I hope this portfolio, exhibition, and catalogue gives all of us a new appreciation for our connections through the WVU Printmaking Area. It was a pleasure to work with all of you, and a pleasure to meet many of you for the first time.
The participants in this exhibition have a connection to WVU that spans over twenty years.
Joseph A Lupo Assistant Professor of Art Division of Art and Design West Virginia University
Printmaking Faculty at WVU Will Petersen
Students & Alumni
Table of Contents
Patricia Villalobos EcheverrĂa
Professors, Past & Present Christopher Hocking
Ashley Nason was born in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1969 and spent her formative years in Chevy Chase, Maryland. She received her BA in Psychology and her BFA in Painting and Printmaking from West Virginia University. She received her MFA in Printmaking from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Upon graduating with her MFA in 1999, Ashley assumed the position of Printmaking Technician and Adjunct Instructor at the Herron School of Art in Indianapolis. She currently lives in DeKalb, Illinois where she is an Assistant Professor of Printmaking at Northern Illinois University.
I like fictions, sometimes more than real life. My prints, collages, and drawings resid e between the two, depicting the tangible and intangible of an ever changing world in which life has been socially, culturally, and genetically engineered. These fictional landscapes explore notions of isolation, escapism, idealism, and evolution as a result of a collision between human construct and nature. An emptiness and benign ambivalence exists in the fractured and isolated structures that serve as metaphors for the temporal and elusive nature of life itself.
Iso-Bubble, lithograph, silkscreen, 14" x 14", 2008 (above)
Mining for Gold, lithograph, silkscreen, 12" x 15", 2006 (top left) Songs of Silesia, lithograph, silkscreen, 16" x 19", 2008 (left)
We Need More Rope, rope, paper, mixed media, 7' in diameter, 2008 (above) Edgar Edmar/Red Mared, lithograph on glassine on cardboard w/mixed media, 36" x 42", 2008 (top right)
Sleepyhead, video, sound, serigraph, graphite, mixed media, varied size, 2008 (right) 10
I was born (1981) and raised in Morgantown, West Virginia. I graduated from West Virginia University, in 2006, where I received a BFA with an emphasis in printmaking. I studied under Joseph Lupo (Current head of Printmaking at WVU) and under Sergio Soave (the Chair of Art at WVU until 2004. He is currently the Chair of Art at The Ohio State University).
I foster intuition, which can bridge the gap between rationality and chaos in my mind. It is this duality that drives me. Ultimately my work is very much about life—more specifically my life, which as the maker, I find unavoidably personal. It is my duty to amuse and inform the viewer through an uncontainable network of associations, which weaves a personal account through an interconnected vocabulary of images, found objects, personal artifacts, symbols, marks and lingo.
My work is very much about how I work—the way I function; the way I operate. I believe in intermedia. I seek to push boundaries in the media with which I work. I won’t allow for prints to be strictly print media. Paintings can never be just paint and photographs or video can never just be what they are—I must foil with the tranquility; therefore cautiousness does not play a role in my work. 15
Artist Statement My studio practice begins in fascination and curiosity. It proceeds on the conviction that extended exploration and manipulation of selected materials will lead first to unanticipated forms and then to new connotations that swell with surprising meaning. In one moment, I make deliberate, informed decisions about color, scale, and texture; in the next, I simply try to perceive where the work is headed and follow- this behavior is a continual oscillation between reason and intuition.
Grant Johnson Biography Grant teaches at Alderson-Broaddus College, in Philippi, WV. His MFA in printmaking is from WVU, and his BFA in printmaking from the University of Minnesota. Grant compulsively collects, saves, hoards, and catalogues all manners of stuff, corporeal and digital. His engagement with this pile yields artworks in print, sculpture, painting, drawing, and video.
In its most basic aspects, my studio practice is rhizomic and various. I do create series of works that cohere, but I am not interested in prosecuting my case as an artist within constraints. In this respect, my work as a teacher is central to my own creative endeavors since I continually participate in communities of learners, and thereby feed my fascination and curiosity.
Cloud 5, digital drawing, dimensions variable, 2003 (above) Boarder, silkscreen and latex on canvas, 48" x 48", 2002 (left)
Wild Blue, monoprint and silkscreen on paper, 44" x 30", 2001 (above)
Only Mad Dog and Hindsight is 20/20, cast wax, brown paper bags and silkscreen on braketless shelf, 12" x 10" x 36", 2008 (right)
Sweet Liver Candy: MD 20/20, cast wax, high fructose corn syrup and food coloring on bracketless shelf, 12" x 10" x 48", 2008 (above)
Totems of a lost Revolution: Punk is Dead?, lithograph, monoprint and silkscreen on found telephone poles with staples, duct tape and polyurethane, 42" x 8" x 180", 2008 (right) 14
Jeff Hindal Biography Jeff Hindal is a 1994 BFA graduate of the Printmaking program at West Virginia University. After working as assistant director of GARO gallery in Morgantown for nearly a decade Jeff has returned to WVU to work on his MFA, and is preparing for his final year in the program.
Artist Statement Currently, Iâ€™m exploring the use of multiples to create ironic works of art. By repeating themes in variation I hope to elevate mundane, traditionally non-art objects into something greater. Even though my work has moved away from traditional printmaking into sculpture it retains many aspects of printmaking.
Artist Statement My current body of work deals with the effect language and repetition have on each other. Language can lose or change meaning overtime. In Jaques Derridaâ€™s writings, he analyzes how the meaning of language flows in a specific context and as language is removed from the original context, the meaning changes. I am interested in what happens when text is removed from its original context and placed in a fine art realm. The text used in my work is found language that I overhear and text I am collecting from public places. Repetition, chance and visual alteration are used as metaphors for how spoken and remembered language can be manipulated over time. Recently my work has consisted of printed lists, paper shreddings, installations and sound.
Biography I received my BFA from Clarion University of Pennsylvania in Printmaking and Graphic Design. I am now in my second year of graduate school at West Virginia University studying Printmaking. Before coming to WVU, I volunteered at Artist Image Resource in Pittsburgh, PA. Since being at WVU, I have participated in a number of graduate exhibitions in Cleveland, Charleston, WV and Sewickley, PA. I was also included in a juried exhibition at Purdue University along with being accepted to talk to undergraduates at Georgia College and State University about the graduate experience.
You left this #5, silkscreen, 11" x 14", 2008 (below)
You left this #9, silkscreen, 11" x 14", 2008 (above)
You left this #1, silkscreen, 11" x 14", 2008 (above)
Bridge Burner, 18" x 24", woodcut and letter press on paper, 2007 (right) Fine Feathers Don't Make Fine Birds, 36" x 48", woodcut on canvas, 2007 (below)
Popular American Flightless Shitbird, 4' x 8', woodcut on canvas, 2007 (above)
Artist Statement My prints explore my love for storytelling, pictorial narratives, and humor: a passion that comes from a rich cross and sub-cultural source. As the oldest son of a Cuban exile in West Virginia, I developed my aesthetic submerged in Appalachian economics and pre-Castro nostalgia. I have chosen the printmaking medium of woodcut because of its tradition of social satire. I use it to reference the common appreciation and importance both my Hispanic father and rural community placed on levity to tell their oral histories. This iconography and language is realized in a range of different scales, from small letterpress books and posters, to large 4’ x 8’ woodcuts printed on canvas banners. My goal is, through carefully hewn images of cuckoo clocks, birds, lottery cards, icons of country music, superhuman thugs, day laborers, honky-tonk angels, and back-road car races, to reflect the spirit of my aesthetic foundation, and to comment on social issues such as class, apathy, and excess.
Martin Mazorra Biography Martin Mazorra lives in Brooklyn, New York and has been the Printmaking Coordinator for Parson’s School of Design in New York City since 2000. Born in Morgantown, WV in 1972, Martin received a BFA from West Virginia University in 1994, and a MFA from American University in Washington DC in 1996. Awards for his studio practice include: a year-long Marie Walsh Sharpe Space Program studio in 1999, and a NYFA Fellowship in Printmaking, Drawing and Artist Books in 2007.
Biography Matthew DiClemente studied at West Virginia University under Sergio Soave and Joe Lupo receiving his BFA in 2005.
Artist Statement Matthew’s work extends Print Media’s historical tradition of social commentary, using satire and wit to expose human folly in everyday life. Consumerism, politics, bureaucracy and militarism are his favorite targets, but what he really traffics in is the theme of disappointment and disillusionment—the realization that what we want and desire is rarely what we need; that what we get ultimately fails to satisfy.
Patriot Nuclear Submarine 1/8 scale model kit, screenprint packaging with laser cut balsa wood, 5" x 17" (packaging), 2006 (right)
The Shredder, screen printed fabric doll and packaging with shredded documents, 21" x 26" (packaging), 2007 (above) Assortment of patriotsub.com NES game replicas, laser cut MDF with printed vinyl labels, 5" x 5/8" x 5-1/4", 2008 (right)
Relic Installation, Oil and vinyl, 12' x 27', T.R.A.F Gallery, Pittsburgh PA, 2007 (above) Prayer, photo lithograph, 8.5" x 12", 2005 (right)
Biography Matt Forrest currently lives and works in Pittsburgh, PA. He received his BFA from Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania and his MFA in printmaking from West Virginia University. In addition to teaching at IUP, Matt is working as a collaborative printer at Artists Image Resource, a non-profit print shop located in the north side of Pittsburgh. Matt also teaches at Carnegie Mellon University and runs outreach projects with other local universities and high schools. Matt is also an entrepreneur, opening his own print shop called Servatus Print in Canonsburg, PA.
Artist Statement Matt is currently focused on producing works of art that reflect his interest in documenting and understanding local religious organizations within the city of Pittsburgh, and surrounding areas.
Biography Michelle C Moode grew up in Downey, California. She lived in Murray, Kentucky for man y ye ars, and received her BFA from Murray State University in 2003. She received her MFA from West Virginia University in 2007. During her time at WVU, she explored printmaking, mixed-media installation, sewing, bookbinding and taking watches apart. She has exhibited nationally and currently resides in Los Angeles, where she teaches Printmaking at California State University Northridge.
Michelle C Moode
Artist Statement My mixed-media work is an exploration of the non-linear nature of memory. The repetitive nature of my processes, (printmaking, mark-making, sewing, crocheting) allows my mind to wander, thus each piece becomes an abstract record of my thoughts. I am interested in souvenirs, collections, and ephemera from everyday adventures.
Interior view of handbound book, typing, monotype, crochet, 2008 (below)
UFO, polaroid transfer, watch gears, stitching, 2008 (above) Pieces of the Universe Exhibition (installation view), Mesaros Gallery, WVU, 2007 (right)
Untitled II, litho ink and toner drawing, 41" x 61", 2006 (right)
Untitled XVI, litho ink and toner drawing, 73" x 52", 2006 (above) E:32:35, litho ink and toner, 15.5" x 23", 2006 (right) 26
Artist Statement In Miguel’s work photographic images are manipulated, layered, and placed in
Miguel Ángel Rivera Ortega Biography Rivera was born in Guanajuato, Mexico and received his Associates degree in printmaking from the University of Guanajuato, a BFA in printmaking and painting from Southern Oregon University, and his MFA in Visual Studies from West Virginia University. Currently he is the chair and associate professor in printmaking at Kansas City Art Institute. He also has been chair and associate professor of the Art Department of the University of Guanajuato, Mexico. Rivera has shown his work extensively in Mexico, Japan and the US.
combination with rendered drawings and prints in an environment that conveys a sacred space. The materials that are used serve as metaphors for the passage of time, memory and the human condition. The layering of the surface functions as a contemporary device. Placing images in this manner helps to reconstruct, examine, and reinvent Catholic iconography. At the same time, layering of these icons creates a double edge or ambiguity of related themes. Within this arrangement, rituals are associated, i.e. penitence and life-after-death, body and soul, heaven and earth, human and godlike figures and the rituals that help to interpret them. One way to understand this is by looking at religious art which has had the power
to reach generations by using symbols and icons that convey values equal to preColumbian past gods and goddesses that were evolving from within. His work also stresses the physicality of the body which is overtly used in this faith in order to promote a better understanding of the complexities of Catholic philosophy which uses the flesh and blood as catalysts for meaning. The interrelation among these symbols is one of his interests, which is called a “pragmatic” relationship, or the way artifacts and symbols can be interpreted by another viewer. There is a way Mexicans view their reality, and this reality is shaped by the same symbols that influenced other artists in Latin America. Miguel feels that his fellow Mexican artisits express the same feelings of identity but not the identity that Americans want to see; instead they are constantly struggling to find themselves in that melted pot that fused several centuries ago.
Convergencia (convergence), artist book, 10 pages, 7" x 7" folded (left)
Cuerpossinbordes (Bodieswithoutmargins), double video projection, 12:20 min, 2007 (above) 11° 64’ N86° 30’ W, lithograph, 14-3/4" x 19-1/4", 2007 (left)
Biography Patricia Villalobos Echeverría (USA/ Nicaragua) was born in Tennessee to Salvadoran parents, and grew up in Nicaragua. Her work concerns the body’s relationship to site/geography; the constant state of exposure and erasure of the body; and subsequently the changing notions of place/geography within an increasingly transnational era.
Artist Statement Increasingly, the self is less tied to locality and geography while geography and locale are being continuously redefined. Disembodied and de-centered, our sense of self and site is questioned. Engaging this condition within the context of transculturation is of particular interest. My works are as much a response to transcultural issues, as they are a response to the nature of identity in this age of transnationalism and global connectivity. I am particularly interested in how the questions posed by the discourse of (post) humanity and de(materialization) re-define both body and site. Via painting, photos, prints, sound/video and installations my work engages these concepts using personal texts and images parting from a shared experience of war and natural disasters. I attempt to give voice to the divergent transcultural body, as well as to its shifting definitions and relationship to “post” human discourse in culture.
Patricia Villalobos Echeverría Villalobos holds a BFA from Louisiana State University (1988); an MFA from West Virginia University (1990); notable grants include the Oregon Arts Council Fellowship, PA Council for the Arts Fellowship, Creative Heights Residency Fellowship from the Heinz Endowment and residencies at Artist Image Resource and the MacDowell Arts Colony. Her work is exhibited internationally; she lives in Pittsburgh, PA and is a Professor of Art at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
Biography Samantha Mosby is a printmaker whose work often deviates from the traditional definitions of the medium. She uses sewing, embroidery, fabric, ribbons, flocking, and incorporates paint depending on her objectives for a body of work. Mosby grew up in Charleston, West Virginia and received her BFA in printmaking from West Virginia University in 2005. She is currently attending the University of Georgia earning her MFA in printmaking and is projected to graduate in 2009.
Artist Statement Samanthaâ€™s current work focuses on the motivations, reactions, and emotions involved in the seemingly surface qualities of ornamentation. The display is an important component in her work because it functions as an invitation to the viewer. Boxes, cake stands, and packaging are all used to elevate the prints as saccharine sweet adorned gifts to the viewer.
Sweets, silkscreen, mixed media, 14" x 20", 2008 (below)
Chocolate Box, silkscreen, mixed media, 14" x 20", 2008 (above) Heart With Flowers, silkscreen, mixed media, 14" x 20", 2008 (right)
Plank, coffee filter, transfer lithograph, gouache, 7.25" round, 2008 (left) Hopscotch, coffee filter, transfer lithograph, gouache, 7.25" round, 2008 (below)
Sheet, coffee filter, transfer lithograph, gouache, 7.25" round, 2008 (above)
Christopher Hocking Biography Christopher Hocking is the Senior Associate Director of the Lamar Dodd School of Art, University of Georgia, Athens, and holds the rank of Associate Professor. Since his initial appointment in 2002 he has been the area head of the first year Studio Foundations program. Prior to this appointment he was an Associate Professor of painting and printmaking and graduate program advisor at West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV. He has also taught in the Bennington July Program, Bennington College, and at Louisiana State University. Hocking received a BFA with concentrations in Sculpture and Painting from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, and an
Artist Statement MFA in Painting and Drawing from Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge LA. He has received several grants including a University of Georgia Senior Research Grant, WVU Senate Research Grant, and Radiological Consultant Grants in the Arts. He has exhibited his works regionally and nationally including exhibits at the Georgia Museum of Art, Athens, GA, Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, Pittsburgh, PA, Corcoran School of Art, Washington DC, 1708 Gallery, Richmond, VA, and in numerous juried exhibitions such as the Bradley National, Boston Printmakers and Pacific States Biennial, and Cimarron National.
Hockingâ€™s creative work whether in painting, drawing, or printmaking, is concerned with cultivating a kind of constellation with peripheral images: imagery that is partly engineered and partly born from popular and folk cultures, art, astrology, ephemera, anecdote and literature. Synthesized motifs, which embrace the obscure, the goofy, the off-kilter, and the absurd, are intermingled with linear interruptions, graphic notations, painterly riffs, and photographic projections. These abstract hybrids exist as something independent, aware, and foreign: like an incomprehensible schizophrenic presence.
Carmon Colangelo Biography Carmon Colangelo joined the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts as its first dean in July, 2006. As dean, Colangelo oversees the School’s four academic units — the College of Art, College of Architecture, Graduate School of Art and Graduate School of Architecture & Urban Design as well as the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, home to one of the nation’s finest university collections of modern art. Dean Colangelo also serves as a member of the University Council and as the E Desmond Lee Professor for Collaboration in the Arts. A widely exhibited artist known for large mixed-media prints that combine digital and traditional processes, Dean Colangelo’s work has been featured in 20 solo shows and dozens of group exhibitions in Argentina, Canada, England, Italy, Korea, Mexico, Puerto Rico and across the United States. His work has been collected by many of the nation’s leading museums, including the National Museum of American Art in Washington DC, the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York and the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University.
From 1984 to 1996, Dean Colangelo headed the Printmaking department at West Virginia University and was named chair of the Division of Art in 1993. In 1997, he became director of the Lamar Dodd School of Art at the University of Georgia (Athens). Born in Toronto, Dean Colangelo earned a BFA in Printmaking and painting from the University of Windsor in Ontario in 1981 and an MFA in Printmaking from Louisiana State University in 1983.
Artist Statement Colangelo explores ideas about the creation of the universe and man-made changes in the in the environment— from the Big Bang to the Big Melt. This paradoxical relationship expands on Colangelo’s investigation of the biological aspects of evolution and takes a closer look at the physical environment. His imagery presents a playful odyssey that references the meta-narratives of art history and natural history by juxtaposing utopian ideals of modernism with the contingent aesthetics of surrealism and conceptual art. His taxonomy ranges
from primitive organisms to bears and rhinoceros to other more bizarre and ambiguous creatures. The animals function in or independently from architectonic forms and urban landscapes, producing a vivid, chimerical vision. Colangelo’s works push the physical and haptic qualities of the print, using new methods and transformative materials such as wax and iridescent inks. This new series was created in collaboration with master printer Dennis O’Neil at the Hand Print Workshop International in Washington DC, a studio dedicated to innovative Printmaking. An enduring feature of Carmon Colangelo’s work is the unraveling of free-floating symbols and texts in an aggressive exploitation of wet and dry media. His prints and paintings are marked by neo-primitives forms, which are then tempered by soothing veils of light. He challenges conventional readings, producing disorienting spatial topologies and striking visual poetics. His images may swing from the obsessively personal to the openly topical, allowing disparate formal structures and semiotics to inspire the production of remarkable forms that are somehow freed from the preceding visual context and grammar.
Declomania Homage to Max ErnstZ, silkscreen, 36" x 30", 2008 (left)
Mondrian TowerZ, silkscreen, 36" x 30", 2008 (above) Big Bang with WebZ, silkscreen, 36" x 30", 2008 (right) 35
Biography Joseph Lupo was born in Chicago. He received his BFA from Bradley University and his MFA from the University of Georgia. In 2004 Joseph joined the Division of Art faculty at West Virginia University as the Printmaking Program Coordinator. Since then, Joseph’s work has been a part of over 40 different solo and group exhibitions in 24 states. He has had solo/ two person exhibitions at ARC Gallery, The Contemporary Art Workshop, and Vespine Gallery in Chicago; at 1708 Gallery and Quirk Gallery in Richmond; at Youngblood Gallery in Atlanta; and BH Space 101 in Pittsburgh. His work has also been featured at the International Print Center of New York, the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, Gallery 312 in Chicago, The Contemporary Art Center in Atlanta, The Museum of Fine Arts at Florida State University, The Janet Turner Print Museum at California State University Chico, The Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts in Grand Rapids, Washington Printmakers Gallery in Washington DC, and Gallery 500 in Portland. Internationally Joseph’s work has appeared at the Naestved Roennebaeksholm Art & Cultural Center in Denmark and at the Dedalo Center for Contemporary Art in Abruzzo, Italy.
From 2005 to 2007 Joseph was a resident faculty at the Chautauqua Institute in Chautauqua, New York. He has been a guest lecturer or visiting artist at Penn State University, Morehead State University, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Clarion University, and Bloomsburg University. His work has appeared in numerous publications including The Atlanta Journal Constitution, The Portland Tribune, The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and Brick Weekly in Richmond. Joseph has also been an artist in residence at Artist Image Resource in Pittsburgh and the Prairie Center of the Arts in Peoria, Illinois. From 2006 to 2008, Joseph served as the Secretary of the Southern Graphics Council Executive Board; in 2008 he was elected President. The Southern Graphics Council is the nation’s largest printmaking organization. To learn more about Joseph Lupo and to see examples of his work and students work visit his website at: http://web.mac.com/josephlupo
Artist Statement It’s my intention to make artwork that can be ambiguous and possibly contradictory, instead of didactic and certain. Another important aspect to my artistic practice is the use of familiar imagery. My aim is to create an interactive relationship between the viewer and the work in order to create multiple interpretations, questions, and dialogue. Over the last five years my work has centered around issues of communication and forms of reproduction.
Joseph Lupo Since 2001 I have made artwork that confronts the viewer with reproductions of receipts. Receipts are a form of print that we encounter almost everyday, but that I assume few actually think about in this way. Not only are receipts a mass produced form of print, but there is a large amount of public and private information written on them. In order to bring attention to receipts, I have reproduced every receipt I receive from my regular buying habits in the form of drawings, paintings, prints, or books. It’s my intention to offer the viewer information about myself from text located on receipts in order to create questions about language, consumption, reproduction, receipts, and art. On one level, I believe that this body of work can be seen as a metaphor of the myth of a stable language and a stable self. Each day offers new buying opportunities, and in turn new opportunities to define or redefine the self through commodities. Looking at the work as a whole, many have seen this series as a consumer diary. Lastly, this body of work has opened up new challenges for myself as an artist. I am a student of and a believer in the traditions of hand-made printmaking. It was a struggle, and continues to be a challenge, to try to use these artistic traditions that I respect in a way that mimics mechanical reproduction.
In 2005 I began to address how artists and writers communicate through comics. Comics are another form of everyday printmaking that I believe many of its consumers overlook. One of the major symbols of this type of communication is the thought/talk bubble. This shape includes the majority of the storyline in a given comic book or strip. Comics rely on both text and the graphic image in order to make a storyline move along. I have begun this series of works by concentrating on only the shape of the thought/ talk bubble. Currently, these shapes are taken directly from The Invincible Iron Man comic book, volume 1, number 178 published in 1982. A specific comic book that I have enjoyed since I was a child. The original text and image is removed from these prints in order to de-contextualize the illustration and narrative. Again, I believe that this allows for the most open-ended interpretation of the image. Even when the context of the narrative is reintroduced to the viewer through the title, I still believe this process allows for open interpretation concerning the original and new context of the text and image.
IRON MAN Vol. 01 Issue 178 Page 15, Silkscreen, 10" x 6.5", 2008 (right)
June 26, 2008, Graphite on paper, 7" x 3.25", 2008 (above) It sure has been boring around here... Aquatint and Mezzotint, 8" x 8", 2006 (top right)
Equivalents in Ten Parts, oil and wax on ten canvases, 30" x 46", 2006 (left) Golden Mean, watercolor, graphite, acrylic, and vinyl on gallery wall, 11' x 7', 2005 (below)
Level Distance, oil and wax on canvas 48" x 48", 2007 (above)
Artist Statement My paintings deal with bridging the gap between the human mind and the natural world. The abstract images used are the essential components within a landscape and the concepts within the work allude to the seasons. Robert Bridges walks a formal tightrope between obsessive recording of the natural world and abstract transformations of it. While the organic textures that are the source of his imagery are palpable, the spatial tensions he creates between depth and flatness are the elusive cornerstones of his pieces.
Biography Robert Bridges is an associate professor at West Virginia University. Professor Bridges has an MFA from West Virginia University in Printmaking and a BFA from Illinois Wesleyan University. He is curator of the West Virginia University Art Collection, which houses more than 2,500 art objects. In addition he serves as Curator of the Mesaros Galleries where he has curated historical as well as contemporary exhibitions. He is currently represented by Roy Boyd Gallery in Chicago.
Biography Sarah Smelser, a native Californian, received her BA from UC Santa Cruz, her MFA from the University of Iowa and currently teaches intaglio printmaking at Illinois State University in Normal, IL. She has exhibited widely across the United States, and has had solo exhibitions at Bridgewater/Lustberg & Blumenfeld Gallery and Kathryn Markel Fine Arts in New York City. Her work is in such collections as Chase Manhattan Bank, Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, Fidelity Investments, the New York Public Library, Reader’s Digest Association, and the Library of Congress. She has been an artist in residence at the Franz Masereel Center in Kasterlee, Belgium; ARTica in Bilbao, Spain; Kala Art Institute in Berkeley, CA; and the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, VT. From 2006–2008 she served as the President for the Mid America Print Council, a non-profit organization of artist printmakers and educators whose membership includes printmakers, papermakers, book artists, students, curators, and collectors from across North America.
Master Printer Jonathan Higgins and Sarah Smelser co-founded Manneken Press in Morgantown, WV in 2000 and transported it to Illinois in 2002. A small print publishing venture, Manneken works with artists from around the country, editioning and publishing etchings, woodcuts, photogravure, and artist books (www.mannekenpress.com). Smelser and Higgins live in Bloomington, IL with their two daughters and one son.
Artist Statement I once saw Maxine Hong Kingston speak about her novel, Woman Warrior. She began with a disclaimer that I find appropriate. She said that she often did not know what to say about her own work; she felt as if a fish might feel had he been asked to talk about the water surrounding him. When asked to make a blanket statement about my work or to answer the question “What is your work about?” I say that my work is about a sensibility. Each individual piece may have its own story or anecdote, but I prefer to think of my work as a kind of reflection or embodiment of words and forms I hold dear. As I work, I often think of a few words. My list is ongoing, but it starts as follows: elegant, clumsy, awkward, poetic, musical, whimsical, restrained, staid, limited, pure, necessary, honest, flawed, mortal, delicate, luminous. I am drawn to work that I describe with these words,
those that satisfy my appetite as a viewer and encourage me as an artist. As an equal and parallel line of thought, I have a list of forms to use. These forms come from a mental collection, which I have sorted, edited and added to over the course of several years. My use of this collection has changed over time, and lately I have been most interested in juxtaposing forms of varying character. Larger, solid forms have a blunter, more macho quality and I like to see how they converse with forms that are delicate, particulate, and weak. I approach color with the same goal; I limit my palette and deliberate over the character each color can embody. Beyond ruminating over these words, forms, and qualities, I use my work as a way to stretch my mind. I always work additively, both with abandon and with great care. Because I work on paper and therefore can be relatively productive, and because I feel confident with the techniques I use, I make my studio practice
into a kind of game designed to probe the limits of my imagination and aesthetic. I make mistakes and inappropriate choices; I try to work myself into a corner so that I will be forced to make new decisions. As I look at my current work, I find that it has as much to do with drawing as it does with printmaking. It uses inks, printmaking papers and a press, but the imagery is informed by the vocabulary of drawing. I make one-of-a-kind works, without the responsibility of the multiple, and this has led me to explore and enjoy non-repeatable marks and processes. I have been asked why I don’t also draw. Whatever appetite I have for drawing is satisfied in the print shop. I find that I need the built-in delay of printmaking in order to collect my thoughts, react to my imagery, and invite the dilemmas, static, and jazz specific to the medium.
Everything Will Now Come Your Way, monotype, 16" x 20", 2008 (below)
A Song I Used to Know, monotype, 16" x 20", 2008 (above) The Rest You Earnedâ€”Over the Years, monotype, chine colle, 19" x 20", 2008 (right)
44, etching, digital print, drawing, 18" x 24", 2008 (below)
Static, collagraph print, drawing, 17" x 12", 2008 (above) 1965 Self Portrait (detail), 72 composite portraits, 11" x 17" (each), 2008 (right)
Artist Statement Biography Born in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, Sergio Soave studied printmaking at the University of Windsor, Ontario where he received a BFA. He received his MFA in Printmaking and Drawing from West Virginia University. After graduating, Soave went on to teach printmaking at WVU from 1988 to 2005. He served as the Chairperson of the Division of Art at WVU from 1997 to 2005. In the fall of 2005 he was appointed as the Chair of the Art Department and Professor of Printmaking at The Ohio State University.
As a professional artist, he has exhibited extensively. His computer works, lithographs, etchings and silkscreen prints have been included in more than 120 regional, national and international exhibitions in the past decade including Carnivale at the Diego Rivera Museum of Art in Guanajuato, Mexico. His work is included in public collections at the Butler Museum of American Art, the University of Windsor, the Print Consortium, The Royal Museum of Antwerpen, Ohio
University Art Collection, Bradley University, West Virginia University and others. The artist has lectured at national and international universities including: the Nanjing College of Fine Art, Nanjing, China and The Beijing Academy of Fine Art, Beijing, China, The Universidad of Guanajuato, The Ontario College of Art. Soave’s work is represented in EC Cunningham’s book on contemporary printmaking, Printmaking: A Primary Form of Expression and in Contemporary American Printmaking, published by Jilin Fine Arts Publishing. Grants and fellowships include a Radiological Consultants Summer Fellowship, Canada Council Explorations Grant, West Virginia Artist Fellowship and three West Virginia University Senate Research Grants. He has been an Artist in Residence at the Frans Masereel Studio in Belgium, the University of Georgia’s Cortona Program, the Peacock Printmaker’s Workshop in Aberdeen, Scotland, and the Snowshoe Institute in West Virginia.
In the field of mathematics, matrices are used to record data that depend on multiple parameters. They can be added, multiplied, and decomposed in various ways. This definition is a meaningful correlation to my current work that investigates a complex web of visual connections and narrative structures. Using a framework of “small stories,” these works examine the ways multiple fragments of story telling, diverse forms of information and cross-generational memories can be woven to visually reestablish lost generational sagas. These “stories” enable seemingly disparate images to create visual metaphors as counterparts to story telling rather than illustrations of particular stories. Each element of the complex, layered compositions relates to a group affected by genetic medical conditions, war, migration, loss, play, and joy. Employing a range of graphic media (drawing, printmaking, photography, digital imagining) images of cells, ornamentation, bombers, games, family photographs, balloons, playing cards and many more, raise questions about the importance and validity of stories and their relevance to my identity and future.
A special thanks to: M
G A L L E R I E S The Mesaros Galleries, Named for patrons Drs Paul and Laura Mesaros, are located in the Creative Arts Center on the campus of West Virginia University in Morgantown. They are managed by curator Robert Bridges and the Division of Art and Design. Programming focuses on exhibitions by contemporary artists of important or growing reputation who work in all media.
This publication was made possible by the generous funding provided by the Meyers Foundations to the Division of Art and Design in the College of Creative Arts at West Virginia University.
For information regarding the Division of Art and Design and degree programs contact: Alison Helm, Chair Division of Art and Design West Virginia University Morgantown, WV 26506-6111 304.293.4841x3139 http://artanddesign.wvu.edu 49