“Uncommon Prints x Common Matrices” juried by Cathie Ruggie Saunders is a group exhibition featuring the artwork of 27 women and non-binary artists exploring the concept and techniques of a transfer in unexpected ways and across mediums.
As a traditional printmaking convention, a matrix is a master surface from which to make an impression. Typical matrices are wood, Bavarian limestone or aluminum plates, copper or zinc, and a silkscreen frame and stencils. This exhibition opens up the traditional practice to highlight the common methods of “transferring a mark.” From fingers, handprints, using earth pigments and plant berries, Uncommon Prints x Common Matrices underlines the artistic encounter by women with the everyday and reveals lasting impressions.
In her jurors’ statement, Cathie Ruggie Saunders writes: “To be invited to conceive of an innovative premise for an exhibition, and jury the submissions sent in from as far away as New Zealand and Australia is a rare opportunity, and one for which I am most grateful. The women and non-binary artists that contributed their printmaking vision definitely demonstrate that creativity abounds.
Women’s traditional domestic pursuits such as stitching, dyeing, and quilting are gathered into this exhibit in a mark-making manner that explores the relief surface as a sculptural matrix. Moments of simple observation (of eggshells, rust, rain, flour, coffee, make-up) often dismissed are elevated to visceral and elegant impressions defying the traditional canon. And though these uncommon times that we are living in might have broken the resilience of many, these artists flex their voices to recognize and seize the opportunities to expand printmaking boundaries.
There is no fear in using oneself as a matrix, whether it be one’s face with cosmetics, or one’s torso with graphite. Identity as revealed in one’s visage or the fecund powers of the female body, are put forth in a vulnerable yet strident manner, witnesses to the belief that we each have something unique to say and share. With touch (pressure) being a critical component of printmaking, the selected prints in this exhibit indeed come from a deep point of contact, one that both touches the artist and the viewer.”
Natalie Boyett, Mia Brown-Seguin. Savannah Bustillo, Teresa Castaneda, Martha Chiplis, Hellen Colman, Kathleen Greco, Kayla Haugen, Clarissa Jakobsons, Regina Durante Jestrow, Millicent Kennedy, Shama Kipfer-Tessler, Hava Liebowitz, Hannah Jo Malaczynski, Lacey Minor, BettyAnn Mocek, Lisa Nelson Raabe, Nirmal S Raja, Bonnie Ralston, Gina Lee Robbins, Ciel Rodriguez, Sue Scanlon, Anahi Velazquez Torres, Jacqueline Valdez, Carla Winterbottom, Chandra Wu, and Chunbo Zhang.
About the Juror:
Cathie Ruggie Saunders is an artist, educator and mentor. She currently teaches in the Visual Communication Design Department at School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and is the Chair of the Art and Design Department at Saint Xavier University, Chicago IL. She holds an MFA and MA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a BA from the Northwestern University. Her work has been displayed in exhibitions held at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Temari Center for Asian & Pacific Fibers, Honolulu, Hawaii; American Cultural Center, New Delhi, India, World Print Competition, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Footprint: Northwest International Small Format Print Exhibition. Seattle, WA.
She has won two American Graphic Design Awards, First Annual Tampa Book Arts Studio Letterpress Excellence Award in Contemporary Ephemera (with Martha Chiplis); Illinois Arts Council Artists Fellowship; Teaching Excellence Award, Saint Xavier University. Prominent institutions like the Library of Congress, The Art Institute of Chicago, Harold Washington Library Special Collections, National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, India, Vanderbilt University Jean and Alexander Heard Library, Nashville, TN, Huntington Museum and Library. San Marino, CA have her work in their collections. Her work can also be found in the publications like For the Love of Letterpress, a Printing Handbook for Instructors and Students, written and designed with Martha Chiplis, 2013 (first edition); 2019 (second edition). Bloomsbury, London.
Banner Image: BettyAnn Mocek, Back Porch (2020) – etching, collage & sculpture; 16 x 11 x 11 in.