E/AB Fair 2018
25th – 28th October, 2018
Lyndsey Ingram looks forward to exhibiting for the first time at the Editions / Artists’ Books (E/AB) Fair in New York. The new London gallery will be showing works by three contemporary female artists. Georgie Hopton, Suzy Murphy, and Kelly Reemtsen all consider printmaking central to their artistic practice and through their work demonstrate the scope and variety of what is possible in printmaking today.
The phrase ‘cultivate your own garden’ takes on new meaning in the art of Georgie Hopton (b. 1967). The British artist treats her garden as a palette, growing abundant produce on the Upstate New York farm she shares with her husband, the painter Gary Hume, and using the fruits of her labour to create extraordinary monoprints and collages. Disrupting the traditional notion of the still-life, she selects flowers, fruit and vegetables from her garden, then divides them up and reincarnates them into new forms. The resulting work is both abstract and figurative, decorative and expressive, familiar and fantastical.
In Hopton’s monoprints, the rounded, imperfect forms of halved potatoes and carved squash can be identified between the collaged elements. These organic printing blocks, daubed with brightly coloured acrylic paint are pressed by hand onto the paper. The vivid imprints are both a physical record and celebration of Hopton’s garden – the seasonal, transient work of art that only she sees.
For Hopton, her garden is not only an inspiration but also an essential ingredient – ‘Each summer I gather my excess crop, haul it into the studio and cut it up. Dried flower stems crammed into vases, gathered the season previous, the Leather Leaf Vibernum outside the door, thicker and brighter, despite my annual plucking, and the harvest heap, all await my usual pilfering and tinkering. My work is a result of these encircling riches and the now habitual printing that feels like a natural response to all this excess.’
Murphy’s works treat memories of landscape as an evocative self-portrait of her inner experience. Trained at St. Martin’s, Murphy has painted her entire life and began making monoprints two years ago, when she was drawn to the medium for its spontaneity. In a monoprint the marks can only be made once, unlike in editioned prints, so each work is unique with a painterly, gestural quality. ‘You only get one chance, one print,’ says Murphy. ‘You can’t go back – it’s now or never – I love that. Sometimes I do a whole series of the same image, adjusting it. I go into the print studio with an image in mind and draw it directly on the plate – it will take about half an hour and then I print it. Often it will be a subject that I’ve been painting or thinking about. But sometimes I create something completely unrelated – you’re always inventing on some level.’
For Murphy, monoprints echo the freedom she finds in painting since she is able to work outside of the picture plane defined by the plate mark. The printed image becomes the foundation upon which she builds the final piece, with layers of additional hand-painting in oil.
Many of Murphy’s subjects relate back to small, quick sketches from the extensive visual diaries she has kept since childhood. They also relate to subjects seen in her painting. The artist has travelled extensively in the United States and Canada and she transfigures her memories from road trips across the country into spare, haunting images.
‘These are all self-portraits. I really don’t see them as landscapes,’ says Murphy. ‘They are just me using the land as a dialogue of what I feel. They represent my internal landscape. They are things and places I’ve experienced and passed through. But because I paint from memory, I only remember a place in the way I encountered it emotionally. I talk a lot about memory in my work.’
Best known for her works depicting beautifully dressed women wielding construction tools, Reemtsen addresses the paradoxes of female identity in today’s world. Reemtsen’s work expresses uncomfortable truths surrounding issues of gender inequality with power, poise and elegance. In these prints, strength and beauty not only coexist but enhance one another.
Cropped at the shoulders, Reemtsen’s headless women remain anonymous and, importantly, universal. She draws the figures, dresses and props from life in her Los Angeles studio. Family and friends are her models and she uses her extensive collection of vintage fashion to dress them. Reemtsen draws on her own life experiences and those close to her for inspiration.
Her graphic works recall the purpose of early printmaking: to share a message. This revolutionary undertone is energised by the inherent beauty and delicacy of the imagery and proliferated by the technical proficiency of the printing. Reemtsen’s delight in depicting candied colours and feminine forms is balanced by the seriousness of her call to action and a very real need for change.
Editions/Artists’ Books Fair has been New York’s premier showcase for the discovery of new and contemporary prints, multiples, and artists’ books for 20 years. Renowned for its cultivation of an international community of publishers, E/AB Fair provides a platform for their growth in the art market. Each year, the Fair presents a thoughtfully curated exhibition of works by hundreds of emerging and established artists and an informative program of talks.
Founded in 1988 by Susan Inglett of I.C. Editions, in partnership with Brooke Alexander Editions and Printed Matter, the Fair is now presented by the Lower East Side Printshop, a non-profit organization. E/AB Fair provides free admission in order to introduce the broad public to contemporary prints, multiples and artists’ books.
The 2018 edition of E/AB Fair will gather 50 exhibitors from around the US and the world, showing their latest publications at The Tunnel in New York’s Chelsea neighbourhood. The Fair will take place October 25 – 28, 2018 during New York’s Print Week, to coincide with IFPDA’s Print Fair, and dozens of special exhibitions, talks, and workshops throughout the city.