First Friday prints in the snow

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Snow inspired me to stay at Locks Gallery for as long as possible, so after admiring Neysa Grassi’s gouaches (see Dec. 6 post), I wandered upstairs to see the multiples show–mostly of prints–from an assortment of big-name artists, including international presences like Claes Oldenburg, Howard Hodgkin and Roy Lichtenstein and locals Diane Burko and Edna Andrade.

I enjoyed the show more than I had expected. Several of the Joseph Beuys prints (shown above, one of four from portfolio, “L’arte et une zanzara dalle mille ali,” or Art is a Mosquito on a Thousand Wings) for example, brought to mind Mark Lombardi’s obsessed flow charts of evil-doing and corruption.

Burko’s fire-and-ice iris prints of a volcano, wreathed in voluptuous smoke, and a chilly Iceland iceberg (shown above left, “Over Vatnajokull in July #2”), both taken from above, brought the snow into perspective as a mere annoyance from nature. A longtime painter of nature’s grandeur based on aerial photos, Burko, over the past two years has been mining the photos for prints, made in collaboration with Silicon Gallery. They have a sobering elegance.

Andrade’s “Silver Turn” screenprint (shown above right) performs a nice op-art trick of appearing soft, despite the precise, hard edges.

And while I’m talking about the women in the show, I’ll add Elizabeth Murray’s labor-intensive “Shack,” (shown left) a sort of 3-D collaged lithograph that crackles with cartoony humor. You would need to clear out a large wall in your house to hold this one, the show’s largest piece, at 63 x 51 inches.

But now I get to my very favorite, for which I could not get a decent image. It was Jasper Johns’ “Light Bulb,” a light-sucking low relief in lead. Flat out funny. In my photo it looked like a plain slab of black.

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