Published: May 15, 2012
From May 19 to June 29, the Old Print Shop is presenting an exhibition of more than 100 contemporary printmakers who are current members of the Society of American Graphic Artists (SAGA), a not-for-profit national organization of fine art printmakers. The artists reception is Saturday, May 19, between 1 and 4 pm.
SAGA has a rich history. Its origins date back to 1915 when a group of printmakers founded the Brooklyn Society of Etchers. Its first exhibition was at the Brooklyn Museum in 1916. In 1952, the society adopted its present title to reflect the all-inclusive membership, which practices a full range of hand-pulled printmaking processes.
Over the years the membership has included many of the foremost printmakers of America. Among early printmakers who showed their work in SAGA exhibitions were Henri Matisse, Kathe Kollwitz, John Sloan, Edward Hopper, Pablo Picasso, Mary Cassatt, Joseph Pennell, John Marin, Childe Hassam and John Taylor Arms. Membership in the society enables artists to show their work in New York City through exhibitions with substantial awards. Many purchase awards have been acquired by museum collections in the United States.
In “Jump Rope,” a color linocut, Veronique Coutant-Godard presents a scene from her own fantasies †a happy, colorful idealistic child’s world reminiscent of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland . Frederick Mershimer captures the frenetic pace and personal moments of the traveling public, as well as the great beauty and elegance of the landmarked Grand Central Station in “Across the Floor,” mezzotint, 2011. In contrast, in “Fast Food Momma,” woodcut, 2012, a composition by Anthony Lazorko, the viewer is in a parking lot on a highway somewhere in the United States with a woman walking back to her car, carrying many bags of food and cups of beverages from MacDonald’s while trying to smoke at the same time. She has already dropped one of the cups.
Steven Walker captures the wonderful light that is about fade as darkness approaches this bucolic urban scene in Astoria, N.Y., in “Rooftop Sunday,” aquatint, 2012. In “Rhyme and Reason,” color etching and aquatint, 2012, Shelly Thorstensen presents a floating nuanced abstract composition. Shapes layer shapes in amorphous omega-like pattern. The viewer is looking straight up at menacing skyscrapers packed together so tightly that they create of sense of claustrophobia in Michael Di Cerbo’s, “Skyward,” etching, aquatint and drypoint, 2011. Peter Milton’s “Julie at Window,” etching, 1965, is an early example of his experimenting with themes about time that occur in all his later work getting ever more complicated technically and aesthetically.
Warrington Colescott’s “Mardi Gras: at the Gay Ball,” 2009, portrays many of the recurrent themes that he has included in his work since the late 1980s †fashions, silly fads, lust, vanity, pride and many other foibles of the society around him. In “China Clown Dog,” screen print, 2011, Lynwood Kreneck presents a highly stylized composition that is full of Chinese symbolism. Frances Myer’s “Thin Ice, Low Levees,” gravure-relief, 2007, is a study of weather disasters with Alfred Hitchcock symbolism included.
The Old Print Shop is at 150 Lexington Avenue at 30th Street.
For additional information, www.oldprintshop.com or 212-683-3950.
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
Mon - Fri / 8:00 am - 5:01 pm