This year’s New World School of the Arts Visual Arts faculty show is based upon the idea of an exquisite corpse–each faculty member was given a length of wall and four days to create and install work based on the work which came before theirs (except for the first artist, of course).
I was the fifth artist to be able to respond and install work, coming after (in order): Aramis O’Reilly, Tom Wyroba, Tony Fernandez and Rosario Martinez-Cañas. I had no previous knowledge of what their work looked like, but knew that if I wanted to use any printmaking in the creation of a new work, I was going to have to do some prep. I figured that screenprinting would be the quickest method to use, so I cleaned out some of my screens in advance of my assigned dates.
The above image shows Rosario’s work and the blank wall where mine was assigned to go. The lighting wasn’t set yet, and only the overhead lights were on. Rosario had installed an interesting stripe of Post-it Notes adhered to her section of the wall; hand-held black lights are also part of her installation, and will be used to reveal writings on the Post-its, but they weren’t there at the time I started my work. Consequently, I decided to respond formally to what she had done.
I decided to use the unit of the Post-it as the seed for an arranged sequence of cut and printed multiples. I both printed and cut drip forms (which are prominent in my work, and stand for different things variously), and I changed their length as well as cut and hung them so that a color gradient moved diagonally through the entire installation. I printed on 70 lb drawing paper, and assumed that the cut drips would begin to curl up due to humidity, thereby giving the piece additional texture.
The works in this show are not individually titled, but as I was working, I came to think of this piece as Post-drip Note Sequence.
Since I had done some work in advance (cleaning and coating screens as well as cutting the stencils I wanted to burn into them), I spent a day burning screens and mixing ink. The first ink I mixed was a match for the typical Post-it Note color; it was a bit tricky while in the office supply store–every type of Post-it seems to have it’s own slightly different yellow! After that yellow, I mixed ten other colors so that when I printed the drip forms in overlap I’d get a fairly gradual transition towards a dark blue. The works in the gallery, to this point, were primarily brown, white, black and yellow, and I wanted to bring more color into the space.
I printed onto four sheets of drawing paper, each approximately 36″ x 72″, two in a yellow-green gradient and two in a blue-green gradient. The image above shows one of the screens I used to print the drips. It’s fun printing onto a large surface, but there are some challenges–one is that it’s a lot easier for the screen to move around during printing, which is bad. So I used the book arts’ classes wrapped bricks to weight my screen at the top. Let’s keep that between us.
It took me a day and a half to print the sheets, after which I began to cut the drip forms out. I spent another day in the gallery cutting and installing, and though we were only supposed to use four days, I had to come in on the weekend to finish the installation. Counting prep and the extra time I needed for installation, it took me about six days to make and install the work. By the end of installation, the fingers of my cutting hand were numb, and stayed that way for another five days.
The show opens Friday, September 7, 2012 at the New World Gallery, 25 NE 2nd ST, from 5:30 to 7:30 PM. Come on by to see the finished installation, as well as the works by the other instructors. It’s a really interesting show, and we’d love to see you there.
In order of installation, the artists in the show are: Aramis O’Reilly, Tom Wyroba, Tony Fernandez, Rosario Martinez-Cañas, Kathleen Hudspeth, Alisa Pitchenik-Charles, Liina Weiss, Yasmine Samimy, Carol Todaro, Don Lambert, Susan Banks, Annette Piskel, Fred Snitzer, Carlos Gallostra, Lori Nozick, and Tim Buwalda.