Natural History: Hamilton (2010)
aquatint, etching, chine colle, linocut collage, monoprint
24 x 30 in.
The monoprint series “Natural History” was inspired by the 1st century Roman historian Pliny the Elder’s “Historia Naturalis,” the world’s first encyclopedia. Much like the Internet, Pliny’s work was full of error. And, like the Internet, taken as truth by many people.
When I began this series, I never imagined how “fake news” would become a political weapon, distorting the absolutes of truth. It is imperative to me that my exploration continues.
This ongoing project explores how distortions and propaganda become accepted as fact, and playfully challenges the concept of comprehensive universal knowledge. The series now totals over 150 monoprints.
These one-of-a-kind prints are created using multiple printing techniques including copper and zinc etching, linoleum carving, Chine collé, trace-transfer monotyping, silkscreen, lithography and collage. Multiple plates are used on each print.
My work is concerned with the mutability of knowledge in cultural contexts. I explore topics such as the status of the individual relative to social, psychological and gender norms using the constructs of language, history and humor.
Since the inception of this series, Natural History monoprints have been in solo shows, and juried into exhibits across the US. Among the jurors who have chosen my monoprints for exhibition are: Marjorie Devon, Director of Tamarind Institute, Albuquerque, N.M.; Siri Engberg, curator of contemporary prints at the Walker Art Center In Minneapolis, Minnesota, and David Kiehl, curator of prints at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. A Natural History monoprint has been acquired by a regional US museum.
© Judith Hladik-Voss