Island Press: Recent Prints

February 2, 2018 - April 16, 2018
Barney A. Ebsworth Gallery

Island Press, Washington University’s collaborative printmaking workshop, has been producing prints by leading artists from around the world since its founding in 1978. This exhibition, following the Kemper Art Museum’s 2011 exhibition Island Press: Three Decades of Printmaking, presents a survey of artworks created in the last decade by over a dozen visiting artists, including Radcliffe Bailey, Orly Genger, Trenton Doyle Hancock, Nina Katchadourian, Dario Robleto, James Siena, and Paula Wilson, among others. The eclectic array of artworks on view reflects the expansive range of the press in terms of both printmaking techniques—such as aquatint, collagraphy, etching, lithography, and screen printing—and subject matter. 

Personal history is primary in works such as Radcliffe Bailey’s Tricky 3 (2011), a multilayered piece that employs collage and explores both African American history and influences on the artist, and Trenton Doyle Hancock’s 548 First Street N.E. (2012), an autobiographical portfolio based on the artist’s childhood memories of his grandmother's house. Other works exude a more pointedly humorous character. Nina Katchadourian’s five-part portfolio Window Seat Suprematism (2014) is based on photographs of airplane wings she took over the course of numerous commercial airline flights; in this work she documents her peripatetic lifestyle while also channeling the pared-down compositions of the Russian avant-garde. Orly Genger’s silkscreened prints, Struggle, Squat, and Sprint (all from 2017) depict intricate piles of sinewy action-figure appendages and read as cartoonish gestures of physical power, while Paula Wilson’s In the Desert: Mooning (2016), a faux-rug mounted on wood and covered with vibrant imagery, irreverently explores themes of gender, race, and sexuality.

The exhibition is curated by Meredith Malone, associate curator. Support is provided by the William T. Kemper Foundation and members of the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum.

Image credits

Above: Trenton Doyle Hancock (American, b. 1974), 548 First Street NE, 2012. Portfolio of 16 prints utilizing screen print, photogravure, lithography, and etching, BAT (ed. 14), 24 x 19" each. Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Washington University in St. Louis. Gift of Island Press, 2014.

Previous page: James Siena  (American, b. 1957), detail of Underdog (one), 2013. Relief print from Sintra on Sunray Satin (ed. 10), 82 1/4 x 57 9/16". Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Washington University in St. Louis. Gift of Island Press, 2014.

Homepage: Lisa Sanditz (American, b. 1973), detail of Space Invader, 2014. Etching, archival pigment print, collage, acrylic, and embossed print, 52 x 40". Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Washington University in St. Louis. Gift of Island Press, 2018.