Dear fellow Washington Print Club members,
The Washington Print Club continues strong and productive. Educational programs are well attended and new ideas have been inaugurated or are under discussion [see below].
The focus of the fall series of educational programs remains as varied and diverse as the membership itself. Two of the programs revolved around special exhibitions at the National Gallery of Art: "Drawings for Paintings in the Age of Rembrandt." and "Photography Reinvented: The Collection of Robert E. Meyerhoff and Rheda Becker." Both programs were led by the organizing curators. The former show probably was one of the most thought-provoking exhibitions in a long while.
Because of the realistic nature of Dutch seventeenth-century art, the general assumption is that they were produced while looking at the subject depicted. This, of course, turns out to be incorrect. Indeed, in the words of Karel van Mander, a sixteenth-century Flemish artist and theoretician: "drawing is the portal to many of the arts." Among the different drawing types discussed were: compositional drawings; individual figure studies; counter proofs; carefully ruled construction drawings; presentation sheets; and sketchbooks.
The tour of "Photography Reinvented" was an equally fascinating experience. The eighteen photographers represented are at the forefront of redefining the role and direction of contemporary photography. At the heart of the reinvention are issues about the ways photography does and does not render reality and the interplay between its flat shapes and its instantaneous representation of the three-dimensional world before the lens.
Other educational programs included a visit to the home of one of our member collectors. It was an amazing treat and awe-inspiring revelation. Art was everywhere-even on the ceiling! At the center of this vast and phenomenal collection is the work of the sub-continent Indian artist Bhupen Khakhar (1934-2003). Earlier this year the Tate Modern in London mounted a landmark exhibition entitled "Bhupen Khakhar: You Can't Please All." A substantial member of the member's paintings and works on paper were included.
In an effort to expand our programs and to enlarge our membership, the Print Club partnered for the first time with The Washington Printmakers Gallery and Georgetown University's Lauinger Library. An exhibition of the prints of Werner Drewes was presented during November at the Printmakers Gallery while, Georgetown University hosted an exhibition entitled "Color in Relief: Wood Block Prints from Origins to Abstraction" which included the work of Drewes. At the center of the two events was a symposium about woodcuts, their evolution, and relevance for the twenty-first century. In addition, as part of the celebration, a folio of prints was commissioned combining one work by Werner Drewes with modern images commissioned from members of American Abstract Artists based in New York.
The Club's bi-annual publication On Paper has published its second edition. Both editions have met with universal praise for their layout and their articles. This recent issue has a cover color image of a print by Martin Puryear [Three Holes, 2002] along with a lengthy illustrated article on his prints and sculptures. Other articles discuss James Gillray and British caricature; reduction prints; the work of Donna Diamond; a members trip to Cuba; and, a linocut by Artemis Rodriguez.
The second of the Washington Print Club's new initiatives will be inaugurated in 2017. It is awarding of a cash prize to the best print student at a specific recognized arts program throughout the region. The first prize will be given to a student from the Maryland College of Fine Art in Baltimore. The school's art faculty will chose the recipient and the Washington Print Club will provide the $1,000.00 prize. It will be awarded at next year's annual membership meeting and reception. The features that make this idea so intriguing are that the Print Club will work with one arts institution per year and the specific institution will rotate annually among the myriad fine arts faculties in the greater Baltimore-Washington area.
The Washington Print Club