Sunday, October 27, 2013

Print Club

Artist/printmaker:  Tom Huck
  at Gallery r 
  100 College Avenue

Each fall for 80 + years the Print Club of Rochester unveils a print it has commissioned and this year the selected artist, Tom Huck, was on hand at the presentation.  He drove in from the midwest and met Print Club members who then lined up to receive their own signed and numbered print as one of the benefits of joining the club in the first place.  The Print Club exists to foster interest in the artform and the printmaking tradition is alive and well, and it is likely we will see more of Tom Huck's work this coming year.  He is even bringing his friends The Outlaw Printmakers who will be showing their renegade art at The Rochester Contemporary Art Center early next year.

The Print Club of Rochester has commissioned fine artists from Rockwell Kent and Luigi Lucioni to Gregory Amenoff and Clare Romano among many others.  All kinds and styles of prints have been made and offered in limited editions to the membership, and the yearly rate to join ($78) is still very modest considering that you get a work of art that would be hard to come by any other way.

The scene at Gallery r on College Avenue, Saturday, October 26th was remarkable for the abundance of artwork that Tom Huck brought with him to acquaint the audience with just a fraction of his output.  He also gave a very entertaining talk about how this self-professed altar boy came to make the prints in his new collection: "The Hillbilly Kama Sutra".  Tom Huck said that his adult anger is directed towards exposing human foibles, while highlighting sex and death in his art, this is also a concentrated graphic medium that tells a story with satire and bite that comes right out of earlier artists such as Goya, Hogarth, and Max Beckmann ( one of Tom Huck's heroes  ).

"BAIT"  by Tom Huck, a commission from The Print Club of Rochester

Prints are still an affordable way to begin or maintain an art collection, and we will see this play out in February at RoCo. I anticipate a bit of controversy because The Outlaw Printmakers subject matter can disturb and stir up an audience.  Take a look at tom Huck's print ( above ) for the Print club titled: "BAIT".  Just what this print is "about" - I will let you decide.

For more information about joining the club e-mail Zerbe Sodervick at:

Friday, October 4, 2013

Signal Achievement

David Chamberlain with
   Melissa Matson at the Geisel Gallery
  Bausch & Lomb Center, Rochester, NY

I was talking with Melissa Matson about her collaborative work with the artist David Chamberlain.  A show recently opened in the Geisel Gallery at the Bausch & Lomb Center in downtown Rochester ( to October 28th, 2013 ), and it is filled with many framed monoprints full of improvised gesture and surprising effects.

Melissa Matson is known here for being the principal violist in the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, but I also know of her artwork - dyeing colorful textiles, and also because of her unique printmaking art she has created with David Chamberlain.

Melissa Matson,
   violist and printmaker

How do you prepare to work on a collaborative print?  Do you talk about how you are going to approach the print?  Melissa Matson say's, "It is like playing a duet - keep your eyes and ears open - and feel the work unfold as if it were music - layers of color and tonality - and telling gestures that complete the print" ( as if they were the final notes in a performance ).

Some of the most unusual prints were hanging at the far end of a long gallery - they were images of dragons - more elaborate than the Chinese dragons you may have seen in a Chinese New Year festival, and somehow they were almost surreal, hanging there on their blue grounds.  Most of the prints on view contain a characteristic bravura stroke or two incised into fresh paint or ink used to make the print - these marks spring forward and create an almost palpable three dimensional space in the images.

  at Rochester Contemporary Art Center

Run down East Avenue, over to the Rochester Contemporary Art Center, and another opening was taking place with four artists who specialize in new media, and this is also the first curatorial collaboration between RoCo and Signal Culture - an organization devoted to some of the latest developments in technology.

Peer Bode, artist with
  Signal Culture at RoCo

The show is called: " Signals_now_" and it contains a variety of artworks - some projected, some hung on the wall, and some of them were woven images of spectacular complexity.  I was intrigued because some of the graphic works on the wall resembles artworks that I have going on in my studio - we have much in common, and I wanted to know more about these four artists:  Phillip Stearns ( Brooklyn, NY ), Joe McKay ( Beacon , NY ), Kristin Lucas, ( Austin Texas), and Peer Bode ( Hornell, NY ).

I want to know how these artists found one another, and they may tell us about this in an artist talk on Saturday, October 5th at 1 pm.  The use of this new technology gives these artists a common core-  a shared language of pixels and a kind of remote or surveillance camera look.  The videos of Kristen Lucas have bold graphic swirls, and colors that look like prints by Andy Warhol.

Phillip Stearns " Heliocentrism"

Someone said of the video presentation in the back by Phillip Stearns that it was like James Turrell with sound - but for me the real draw in the show were the digital woven blankets up front near the exhibition entrance that steal the show.

Connie Mauro in 
  the Hungerford Building, First Fridays Gallery night

As  with other First Fridays, I went around to the studios and came upon bright encaustic paintings by Connie Mauro in the Hungerford Building, and I was also attracted to her prints on maps and other ephemera.

The Print Club of Rochester
  at Gallery r,  100 College Avenue, Rochester

Gallery r has an annual show of printmakers where you can find a wonderful selection of prints that shows a diversity of approach and a very sophisticated knowledge of what a print can achieve.  Among my favorites there were prints by Sue Leopard and Tarrant Clements.  I will have to go back because these prints demand a closer look.  You will want to spend time in this show there is so much to take in.

Prints by Sue Leopard at
The Print Club Annual Members Exhibition,
Gallery r