June 5th – August 28th 2020
Juror: Mark Pascale
Janet and Craig Duchossois Curator of Prints and Drawings, The Art Institute of Chicago
co-organized by Constellation Studios and Lux Art Center
• First Friday August 7, 5 – 8pm
• Upcoming! Steamroller printing of Nine Nebraskans woodblocks, August 15, 1-4pm, Lux Art Center
Surface Impressions intends to connect artists and audiences to the 21st century language of relief printmaking as a viable engagement for today.
The exhibition includes 75 works from 67 national and international artists, with a selection at both Constellation Studios and Lux Art Center galleries. All the prints use relief-printing processes of woodcut, linoleum block, wood engraving, letterpress, and new technologies including laser cutting.
There is a distinctive graphic nature to prints made from carved surfaces as the energy of carving with gouges and burins is readily apparent. This action is transformed by pressure and ink onto paper which reveals light “opened up” from the solid surface. Artists are endlessly inventive with how the surface is changed, as well as with their innovations for printing from blocks, from essential black and white, to multiple layers of color and carving stages, to how the printing happens with presses or by hand. Relief prints use available materials for protest and actions, exist on large scale for impact, capture impressions of wood growth, and show intimate carved details on the end-grain of wood.
This inaugural biennial of relief prints here in the center of America showcases artists from around the country and abroad, all selected from an open call for entries. The works on exhibition focus on the role of the relief print as a means of cultural critique and exploration, of this ancient process but newly invigorated discipline as it is practiced and defined by today’s artists.