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New Grunwald Gallery exhibit and symposium explore intersection of photography and printmaking

Aug 23, 2017
'Except for the Sound of my Voice,' a copper plate photogravure by Leslie Golomb
“Except for the Sound of my Voice,” 2014, by Leslie Golomb, copper plate photogravure

The histories of art and technology are intimately interwoven, and a new exhibit at Indiana University Bloomington’s Grunwald Gallery of Art tells the story about the marriage of technology and art and how it has been central to the pursuit of knowledge and evolution of creative expression.

The exhibition “Light/Matter: Art at the Intersection of Photography and Printmaking” opens Aug. 25 and continues through Oct. 4 at the Grunwald Gallery. Along with the exhibit is the Light/Matter Symposium, which will take place Aug 23 to 25.

Tracy Templeton, associate professor in the IU School of Art, Architecture and Design, curated the exhibit with Walter Jule, professor emeritus at the University of Alberta, and Ingrid Ledent, professor at the Royal Academy of Fine Art in Antwerp, Belgium. The exhibition features up to 70 works by 45 artists spanning 16 countries in Europe, North America, South America and Asia.

“Perhaps more than any other art form, printmaking has embodied this interaction of technology and art,” Templeton said.

For more than 1,000 years, printmakers have continually adopted new technologies of reproduction to explore ideas and concepts in the form of multiple originals capable of reaching a broad audience.

“I hope that visitors will see that there are a lot of intricate connected moments throughout printmaking and photography and that they might be able to see that those commonalities have translated across continents,” Templeton said. “If you look at the works, there is a continuity to it. Printmaking was influenced by other countries, and you can see influences from continent to continent. I hope they will see there is a unique flavor that comes from each culture too.”

An instance of “simultaneous discovery” in the art world, the photo-print movement has had a transformative impact on society that rivals that of similar events in science and technology. Beginning in the mid-20th century, the photo print revolution created a new graphic language through the fusion of photographic imagery and analog print techniques that continues to shape global “visual literacy” in the digital age.

“It’s a very special type of art that we want to have honored, and we want to bring it to life,” Templeton said.

“Light/Matter” marks the first time a major museum exhibition has presented groundbreaking works by several generations of artists who have made significant contributions to the photo-print movement. The exhibition will also serve to illustrate the ways in which cultural factors and traditions have influenced the adoption and evolution of new print technologies.

'Diary: April 2nd ’07,' a woodblock and silkscreen by Tetsuya Noda
“Diary: April 2nd ’07,” 2007, by Tetsuya Noda, Woodblock and silkscreen

Templeton said printmaking today is still relevant even with digital technology because artists are creating printmaking fused with photography. Templeton said printmaking is still relevant in today’s society because it’s a communication technology.

“Artists adopt technology and use it for different purposes – usually a fine arts purpose – so it will always be relevant because it takes over that communication and makes it accessible as a visual language,” Templeton said.

The exhibition and symposium will provide an opportunity to engage this topic with key presenters while these historical innovators are still accessible and at the height of their careers.

The symposium features lectures, panel discussions and an open house with participation by the curators and artists from Europe, North America, South America and Asia. Four of the exhibiting artists will present keynote lectures and participate in panel discussions and an open house in the printmaking studios. The artists are internationally recognized for their innovative work in photo-based printmaking and will be able to share their experiences and expertise throughout the three days of events.

A 72-page catalog will be produced and distributed through the Grunwald Gallery and online containing essays by Professor Emeritus Walter Jule; Alicia Candiani, director of Proyecto Áce; Hideki Kimura, professor at Kyoto City University; and IU associate professor Tracy Templeton. The catalog will also include reproductions of exhibited art works and artist biographies.

The exhibition and catalog will provide a panoramic view of one of the most influential and underrated creative movements of the last 100 years. It will be made available near the end of 2017.

Symposium schedule

  • 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Aug. 23: Introductory lecture by Walter Jule of Canada, Fine Arts Building, Room 015
  • 6:30 to 8 p.m. Aug. 23: Fine Arts 015 open house tours of printmaking studios and reception, Arts Annex
  • Noon to 1 p.m. Aug. 24: Slide lectures by exhibiting artists, Indiana Memorial Union, Oak Room
  • 1 to 1:30 p.m. Aug. 24: Lecture by Nan Brewer on pop art and printmaking, Indiana Memorial Union, Oak Room
  • 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Aug. 24: Lecture by Ingrid Ledent of Belgium, Psychology Building, Room 100
  • 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Aug. 24: Lecture by Alicia Candiani of Argentina, Psychology Building, Room 100
  • Noon to 1 p.m. Aug. 25: Lectures by exhibiting artists, Global and International Studies Building, Room 0001
  • 3 to 4:30 p.m. Aug. 25: Panel discussion, Lee Norvelle Theatre and Drama Center, Room A201
  • 5 to 6 p.m. Aug. 25: McKinney Lecture by Tetsuya Noda of Japan, Fine Arts Building, Room 015
  • 6 to 8 p.m. Aug. 25: Opening reception of “Light/Matter,” Grunwald Gallery

See the list of visiting artists

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