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Wallach Gallery Exhibition Reflects on the LeRoy Neiman Center's Seven Years in Print

South African artist William Kentridge's Typewriter II, 2003, created while serving as artist-in-residence at the School of the Arts.

As Columbia celebrates its 250th anniversary, the Wallach Art Gallery is hosting a survey of the innovative and diverse printmaking pursued at the University's LeRoy Neiman Center for Print Studies since the Center's inception in 1995. "Reflection: Seven Years in Print -- The LeRoy Neiman Center for Print Studies" presents work by 11 contemporary artists of major caliber -- Eric Fischl, Lee Friedlander, Carl Fudge, Ellen Gallagher, Tim Gardner, Elliot Green, William Kentridge, LeRoy Neiman, Alexis Rockman, Kiki Smith, and 2003 MacArthur Fellow Sarah Sze. Nearly100 prints representing a wide range of techniques, including offset lithography, photogravure, intaglio, silkscreen, and chine colle, will be on view through Saturday, December 13.

In an age of digital reproduction and the purported obsolescence of limited edition prints, "Reflection" offers a timely counterpoint, suggesting that the medium of printmaking continues to offer itself up to reinvention. For example, William Kentridge, in a series of ten etchings of antique typewriters, exploits the gummy quality of the sugar-lift line to conjure up the somewhat blurry, irregular quality of the type produced by such machines, which in the modern age of laser printing has all but disappeared. Similarly, Kiki Smith in her triptych "Moon Three" looks to the special qualities of photogravure with its inky blackness to elicit the flickering of the full moons set within a grid. Eric Fischl takes advantage of the Center's large Duffa VII offset press (a rarity in fine-art printmaking shops) in his triad of offset lithography nudes, "Move", "Tumble," and "Watch," to create the effects of translucent watercolor washes and splotches. In an innovative and ambitious combination of offset lithography, silkscreen, and chine colle, Sze's two-print project "Day" and "Night" achieves a print equivalent, in both scale and imagery, to the artist's sculptural installations in which a myriad small components are magically brought together in room-size assemblages balanced or suspended in seeming defiance of gravity.

Founded with a generous gift from the artist LeRoy Neiman and his wife Janet, The LeRoy Neiman Center for Print Studies is dedicated to the advancement of printmaking through education and the production and exhibition of prints. As a central part of its mission, the Neiman Center invites professional artists -- including those who have not previously had an opportunity to investigate the print medium -- to produce edition prints, and provides them with an abundance of time, materials, and skilled technical assistance.

Kiki Smith's Moon Three, 1998.

The exhibition includes editions produced while the artist was in residence at the Neiman Center, working closely with master printers and printmakers in-training and receiving active assistance from both undergraduate and graduate students in the Visual Arts Division of the School of the Arts. The projects produced at the Center embrace a complexity and ambition that are made possible from the ample time and generous resources provided by the Neiman Center and its unique access to the resources of a leading university.

The Wallach Art Gallery is located in Schermerhorn Hall, 8th Floor. Gallery hours: Wednesday through Saturday, from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m.

Eric Fischl's Move, 2001.

Published: Nov 07, 2003
Last modified: Nov 10, 2003

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