Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Boston Printmakers Biennial

The Boston Printmakers 2011 North American Print Biennial featuring juror Jim Dine, at Framingham State University, February 27th, running through May 1st at The Danforth Museum of Art. Framingham, Massachusetts.

The event began with an interview conducted by MFA curator Clifford Ackley. After the interview, numerous questions were raised from the audience, one being:

“Mr. Dine, Seeing as how you are very successful and have homes in all sorts of places, do you find it difficult to create in those spaces, even though they are not your typical studio environment?”

To which he replied: “Well, luckily no... There is always a Home Depot within 15 miles..”

After listening to the interview of Jim Dine in the Dwight Hall auditorium of Framingham State University, I was left with a profound sense of unity between art and man. Jim Dine, in his aged esteem, peers over his scholarly spectacles and revisits past experiences in his artistic career with humorous anecdotes about friends, lovers, and materials with the audience. His commitment to producing art is an important aspect of his personality; never alluding to how much work is involved in achieving a given effect or how long something has taken to finally be in a finished state.

Jim Dine is an ordinary man, with extraordinary ability in printmaking. He is impatient and eagerly seeks out shortcuts/reduced methods of achieving effects. He even admits to having dabbled in the digital world of printmaking. However, his impetuous nature does not thwart his creative conscience; he never trashes a printing block, and constantly is revisiting older blocks for new inspiration

Having to choose 149 prints out of 2,064 works submitted by 811 artists, with little more than a rectangular digital jpeg image to reference, was no doubt exhausting. Of the work that Jim Dine chose to be in the Biennial, he chose nothing ordinary or that followed a trend—works that were unique and something that he could picture himself doing were paramount. Although there were no presuppositions of a theme present in the show, there are certain patterns. Naturalism (the beauty of form in nature) and the beauty of architecture in man-made spaces resonate through the show of prints.

Also on view is an artist that we show here at 13Forest Gallery, Susan Jaworski-Stranc whose reduction linoleum print Harbinger, was selected by Jim Dine as winner of the Legion Paper-East Award. It is a great “patina of a by-gone era” piece fitting of the theme of naturalistic form.

Thanks to the leadership of the Boston Printmakers president, Marc Cote, who also displays work at 13Forest Gallery, the biennial was a great success and showcased many artists, both known and unknown to the general public, giving printmaking an esteemed platform to showcase.

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