At the IFPDA Print Fair, the Magic’s in the Details

Manhattan’s Park Avenue Armory could also be the most romantic of New York City’s artwork honest venues. The historic constructing boasts a cavernous 1880 showroom extra akin to a turn-of-the-century practice corridor than the dwelling of a commerce present. After 5 years stationed at the Javits Center, the International Fine Print Dealer Association’s (IFPDA) Print Fair has returned to the Armory with a packed present, boasting painstakingly intricate works that convey an plain dedication to an typically underappreciated craft. The honest is on view via Sunday, February 18.

Chandler Simpson, the affiliate director of Maya Frodeman Gallery, defined the inventive course of behind the Jackson Hole-based firm’s collection of prints by an identical twin artist duo Mike and Doug Starn. The large-scale “MTN 621” (2021–22), an outline of snow-capped peaks, started with {a photograph} that the Starns digitally manipulated, stripping pixels till it resembled a woodblock print. The artists printed the picture on sheets of gelatin-coated pressed paper, which they taped to a plywood body earlier than making use of oil and acrylic paint. The white outer body that surrounds the work is produced from wooden, however the duo utilized layer after layer of acrylic till the materials misplaced its sharp edges.

“They wanted it to almost look like porcelain,” Simpson mentioned. “They really like the quality of their work — that you can be looking at it and ask, ‘Is it a woodcut? Is it a sculpture? Did it begin as photography?’”

This entrancing ambiguity is on full show at the honest, most notably at the sales space of Los Angeles-based workshop Mixografia. Over three generations and greater than a half-century, the studio has perfected a three-dimensional printing technique that creates completely distinctive sculptural wall hangings. The gallery’s director, Shaya Remba, defined the course of behind a Louise Bourgeois print titled “Crochet IV,” one in all 5 that the studio created with the artist in 1998. 

At first look, the print appears to be like like a crimson string glued to white paper, however that might have been too easy. Bourgeois supplied the workshop with twine organized on plexiglass, a picture the studio remodeled onto a printing plate.

“That’s where all the magic happens,” Remba mentioned. “That’s where the master printers are at work.” The technicians utilized crimson ink to their new mildew, rigorously cleansing up the extra in order to protect the stark white paper that might quickly bear the string’s likeness. “The press produces a tremendous amount of pressure,” Remba defined, noting that the machine pushes the paper into the grooves of the printing clip with sufficient drive to remodel the sheet right into a three-dimensional object.

At the sales space of Tandem Press, a Madison, Wisconsin-based store that additionally collaborates with artists, Judy Pfaff’s “boba” (2024) provides one other ingenious variation on the medium. The work includes 28 intaglio prints that includes manipulated imagery of Indian kantha quilts and is adorned with viscous “bubbles” of glittery resin that mimic the tapioca pearls in the titular Taiwanese boba drink. 

At Zucker Art Books, a picture by artist Andrew Fuss bears the literal remnants of a mushroom. The artist left the fungus on a sheet of paper for a couple of days and allowed it to create spores that left an impression. Valerie Hammond’s sequence of animals at the sales space of Planthouse, a gallery situated in Chelsea, continues the nature theme. Midnight-blue paper contrasts with silver ink depictions of forest creatures, which Hammond finalizes by hand portray eyes and tails. The sales space additionally features a beautiful multi-tile ceramic print by artist Richard Dupont, who’s featured in the honest’s new five-artist “Spotlight” sequence.

The wide-ranging exhibition additionally features a host of artwork historic works. An enormous 12-piece Titian woodblock titled “The Submersion of Pharaoh’s Army in the Red Sea” (c. 1514–15) is on view at the sales space of David Tunick Gallery, which additionally boasts two Edvard Munch lithographs of the artist’s “Madonna” (1895–1902). A glass show case at Ursus Books incorporates a pleasant assortment of historic alphabet books — most of which characteristic unsettling illustrations of animals — and a sequence of high quality artwork books, together with a Futurist version with a bolted binding.

The honest’s most resonant artworks could also be two Keith Haring prints at London’s Shapero Modern Gallery. They’re from the artist’s Apocalypse sequence (1988), one in all the final initiatives Haring labored on earlier than he died from AIDS-related problems. The editions are full of the artist’s attribute scribbled figures; a more in-depth look reveals quite a few phallic cartoons. Smith likened the pictures, so frenetic and at odds with one different in each subject material and tone, to the work of Hieronymus Bosch, describing them as “almost nightmarish.”

“He’s looking for his place in our history,” mentioned the gallery’s supervisor Helen Smith, gesturing at the artist’s printed copy of Da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” (c. 1503). “Where is Haring? And where is his legacy once he passes away?”

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