"Multiple Originals XIX"
The Women Printmakers of Austin's latest group show displays both a diversity of technique and a fine array of beauty
Reviewed by Wayne Alan Brenner, Fri., Jan. 16, 2015
1110 Barton Springs Rd.
Through Feb. 11
The Women Printmakers of Austin have filled the Butridge Gallery of the Dougherty Arts Center with their 19th annual showcase, presenting via members' work a diversity of printmaking techniques. You want to get an eyeful of examples of those words you've always seen in print-technique articles but were never really sure how they might manifest in the real world of fiber and pigment – chine colle, intaglio, polymer gravure, and more – here's a fine opportunity for just that.
But this iteration of "Multiple Originals," like those of previous years, is also more than just a technical primer. There's a fine array of beauty and personal expression going on in this show, several pieces that halt a viewer and demand deeper appreciation of their colors and lines and balance, of the potential narrative implications therein.
Jo Lagattuta's Round and Around and Around We Go, a combination of monotype, stencil, and rubber stamping, is a spiral form fit to counter those vile and terror-inspiring spirals from (you'll recall) the first season of True Detective, a spiral that secularly celebrates the family of humanity and its circling place in the greater scheme of existence. With stencils and stamps, no less: Lagattuta wields the tools associated with a hobbyist realm of mediocre scrapbooking and with them renders an image that's transcendent and unique.
Jauneth Skinner's Beguilement of Aries is an illustration of exactly that mythological occurrence, printed from a painstakingly detailed linocut, white lines against the black ink, a realized vision that wouldn't look out of place, that wouldn't wilt by comparison, in a book of erotica featuring art by Aubrey Beardsley, say, or Virgil Finlay.
Linda Genet contributes a piece called Lambing Lagoon, and it's a compelling, heavily patterned eye-catcher of sheep, evoked in stark black and white (and a small white-lined rose in red), created through clayboard engraving and etched copper.
These are among the more striking instances of graphic power in this newest WPA show, but all of what's on display here is worth your aesthetic while and likely to spark an inky fire of creation in your own engines of art.