– Art Review –
PHOTO: Visitors to Gallery Visio check out the prints on display, at the opening reception Nov. 12 for “The Print Factory” exhibition by seniors in the UMSL Print Making Department. Photo by Rob Sifford for The Current 2014 ©

By Albert Nall, Staff Writer for The Current

“The Print Factory,” an exhibition of prints by seniors in the Printmaking Department, as well as art department alumni and faculty, held its opening reception between 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on November 12 in Gallery Visio at the University of Missouri – St. Louis. The reception included refreshments and some of the artists in attendance.

Director Stuart Shadwell was doing some of his engraving and print work. He even engaged some attendees in making their own prints by way of linocut, which is a printmaking technique that combines relief printing in which an image is carved in a block of wood. The image is then transferred on a piece of fabric from the woodblock. Linocuts entail features on the print that are often a permanent characteristic of block printing, and this was the case with many such works at the exhibit. Shadwell’s wildlife theme prints was on a clothesline on the wall behind the table.

Among the noteworthy works featured in the print factory exhibit were some pieces by UMSL printmaking instructor and curator Jeff Sippel. The works by Sippel are examples of monotyping, a form of printmaking where a sketch or painting is done on a slick, non-absorbent surface, and then transferred by a printing press. Sippel’s displays of large prints, such as “Jade Vase,” projected a manifestation of uniqueness and sophistication in the inking technique, resulting in a rich and distinctive image.

The carving of linocut impressions is more enriched than block printing. “Indecision” by UMSL alumni Emily Gogel is an example. “Indecision” is resonant and introspective, and it is the first exhibit sale for Gogel. A more whimsical print by Gogel is “Sara Beth’s Dream.” This image visualizes childlike awe to a beast-like figure. The print is a great example of Gogel’s very dexterous and versatile use of film, sketch and watercolor. “Sara Beth’s Dream” is cartoonish, fanciful and a must-see.

Other evocative works at the Print Factory includes some pieces by senior Aimee Kick that was done by photolithograph and collage. This is a process that combines the elements of traditional film photography with integrated circuit fabrication. Purple symbols was adorned throughout her works, along the darkened and blurred images in black and white. These elements bring both refinement, as well as notice to Kick’s repertoire. A couple of her works, “A Field Guide to Disappearing” and “Drowning,” project despondency and wretchedness in her subjects. The dramatic meanings Kick projects in her works are lucidly clear and vexing depending on the interpretation.

“Postal Road” by Kate Lily is another example of the use of photolithography. Lily’s other works, such as “Your Highness” and “Vertical Landscape,” feature silkscreen and textured monoprints that enable artists the luxury of spontaneous technique, along with the use of a wide selection of material such as pencils and crayons. The end result are distinctive images and effects that cannot be attained with other printmaking methods, and Lily’s work is an example of this.

Another artist who is worth seeing at the Print Factory is Stephen Da Lay, a lecturer from the Art & Art History department. Da Lay’s works, “In the Mind” and “pf=2E=gv,” coalesce serigraph stencil printing with woodcutting. The impressions they create are fragmented puzzles with a veiled message that is thought provoking and erudite.

According to the Gallery Visio website (http://www.umsl.edu/~galvisio/events.html), the Print Factory will run through January 8, 2015, although events and times are subject to change. For more information about Gallery Visio or to inquire about works for purchase, call (314) 516-7922.


© The Current 2014