The printer gets a second glance in the new retrospective at the LeRoy Neiman Gallery. “Chronographic 1998-2013,” which opened Wednesday, features a rich dialogue on 15 years of fine art prints, showcasing various artists who have worked at the LeRoy Neiman Center for Print Studies.
Featuring works by Neiman himself, the exhibit explores the development and variety of art prints over time.
Neiman was known for his bodacious colors and energetic portrayal of sporting events. “Home Run Blast,” one of his pieces in the exhibit, depicts a baseball player in mid-swing. By using spitbite etching, Neiman catches his subject at the height of his movement. The image brings back the split second when millions of viewers held their breath out of excitement, incorporating an emotional response into the journalistic documentation of the moment.
“Chronographic” also features a serial portfolio, “To New York With Love,” by Jonas Mekas, who produces these images from his diaristic film footage, “Walden (Diaries, Notes, and Sketches).” One of the selected images from the series depicts a hand caressing a pink flower in the background of the skyscrapers, capturing and celebrating the fragility and tenderness of love in a snapshot of modern life. Other iconic images include a couple walking in the snow and a taxi driving off into the busy streets of New York City. The composition of the series deliberately shows a subtle change in the movements of the subjects in each image, with a vertical black-and-white pattern that retains static images of the video recording.
Dana Schutz’s “Self Eaters,” a woodblock relief print created in 2005, is another highlight of the exhibit. In this piece, Schutz combines relief with collage. In bold, bright pink, the print portrays a self-consuming figure, its eyes distorted, full of despair. Her artwork tiptoes along the edge of the pictorial frame, lingering poetically between what she said is “composed and decomposing, formed and formless, inanimate and alive.”
Although the exhibit does not include any introduction of the works or their photographers in an effort to provide a more direct visual experience, the art show is fun, provocative, and undoubtedly worth a visit.
“Chronographic” runs through Nov. 27 at the LeRoy Neiman Gallery, 310 Dodge.
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