The Southern Graphics Council (SGC) International Conference is coming to San Francisco in the next few days (March 26-29), which is very exciting news for all printmakers on the west coast, as this is the first time in SGC’s history that it has been held here. I will be taking in as much as I can over the four day conference, and will post Part Two of this blog post after the dust has settled.
Meanwhile, here are a few shows that are already open that are worth visiting if you are in San Francisco for the conference.
‘Approaching Zero‘ at the Kala Gallery in Berkeley has a really beautifully curated (by Mayumi Hamanaka and Archana Horsting) and well thought out exhibition. All the work in this show is worth spending time with, and there are some really outstanding pieces.
Here’s a bit of the blurb from the exhibition:
‘This exhibition investigates artists who incorporate various systematic printmaking methods while pushing the boundaries of print-based work. Each of these artists uses different printmaking methods and creates distinctive artwork. Printmaking often requires accurate and detailed manual hand labor. These artists all share a common strategy or characteristic: they master a particular printmaking technique as a foundation and then go to the very limits of their own system. Despite their machine-like systematic labor, we see unique distortions and textures created by the human hand.‘
Also along side that exhibition are many works on view by Kala artists in residence.
Next, in a bit of shameless self-promotion, I want to mention a show I curated at Arc Gallery in San Francisco. Called ‘Altered States‘ this is my first curatorial venture, and it has been a really interesting and rewarding experience.
I first approached Arc Gallery in the summer of 2013 about the possibility of staging an alternative printmaking exhibition to coincide with the SGC conference in San Francisco. Not many galleries in SF stage solely printmaking shows, and I hoped this would be the perfect opportunity to draw attention to the wealth of west coast artists working in less traditional techniques.
As curator, I was completely spoiled for choice, and whittling the numbers down was difficult, but I wanted 8 artists who’s work not only embraced innovation, but whose work , when shown together would combine to make a cohesive and creative exhibition.
I personally believe that today printmaking is undergoing something of a renaissance, with many younger artists experimenting with a vast array of techniques available to them.
Since we are no longer restrained by the limited edition, anything goes now in print, from the stencils used in street art to mixed media one off prints. This new energy and new approaches make Printmaking (in my opinion) one of the most exciting areas of art making at the moment.
Installation of the exhibition was last Sunday, and all the artists involved were amazingly helpful during set up, as well as getting everything back to us on schedule.
The reception is on Thursday 27th March, from 7.00-9.00 pm.
There is so much else going on this week, so make sure you check out the SGCI conference website.