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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Past, Future Combine in ‘Print Press Play’

Art Review

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“Print Press Play,” a collaboration between Jessica Meuninck-Ganger and Nathaniel Stern that blends complex printmaking with 21st-century computer art, has opened at Elaine Erickson Gallery. As digital printmakers, they create images with tone, volume, color and dimension in rippling loops of “virtual” time with prints in motion, the new direction in printmaking.

These two nationally acclaimed artists reference the seascapes of Japan’s early-19th-century printmaker Hiroshige in The Multitude, an LCD-woodcut diptych with virtual “machinima” petrels climbing, circling and swooping from one screen to the other over a shimmering sunlit harbor.

Kinnickinnic is an intricate, remarkable work of images specific to Milwaukee. Two cameras mounted on the dash of a car, one focused forward and the other into the rearview mirror, capture video of Bay View street scenes. The video is then embedded into a traditional lithograph of the driver’s view through the windshield.

“Print Press Play” runs concurrently with other works from this series in “Distill Life” at theMuseum of Wisconsin Art in West Bend. With the delightful aquatint etching on copper plate, Meninas, the artists recall Velazquez in images of their studio, dancing through the doorway to meet viewers and invite them into their art.

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