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Lisa Bulawsky

Lisa Bulawsky’s practice is driven by questions concerning the nature of time and the representation of historical events of both a personal and collective scope. At the heart of her research is an inquiry into the parity between personal and global narratives, and a conviction that these run alongside each other in corresponding grooves that are equal in depth and significance. These investigations are coupled with a deep engagement with the material and conceptual terrain of printmaking, and they span a range of activities including installation, works on paper, and temporary public art.

In addition to teaching across disciplines at the undergraduate and graduate levels, Bulawsky serves as director of Island Press, the research-based printmaking workshop in the Sam Fox School. In this role, she has facilitated residencies with nationally and internationally known artists, who work alongside students and research assistants in a collaborative and experimental workshop atmosphere. The press is committed to creating, publishing and disseminating innovative and ambitious prints and multiples in a wide range of media. Recent projects have included works by Squeak Carnwath, Nick Cave, Willie Cole, Henrik Drescher, Tom Friedman, Ann Hamilton, Trenton Doyle Hancock, Nina Katchadourian and James Siena.

As the Francis Niederer Artist-in-Residence at Hollins University, Bulawsky developed the solo exhibition A Clearing of Measures, which was on view at the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum. She also served as the Marvin Bileck Printmaking Project Visiting Artist at Bowdoin College. Other exhibitions include the International Print Biennial (Newcastle, United Kingdom), the International Print Center New York, the Urban Institute of Contemporary Art (Grand Rapids, Michigan), Gallery 406 at Elon University, and the Dalarnas Museum in Sweden.

Bulawsky’s work in mixed media monotype is in the collection of the Royal Academy of Fine Art (Antwerp, Belgium) and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art (Kansas City), among others. It is featured in the 2009 book Printmaking: A Complete Guide to Materials & Processes, published by Prentice Hall and written by Beth Grabowski and Bill Fick. Bulawsky also engages the populist tradition in printmaking by creating temporary public works under the pseudonyms of Vertigo Press and Blindspot Galleries. Her work in the public sphere is recognized in Printmaking at the Edge by Richard Noyce, a book about international, contemporary trends in printmaking. She is also among the artists featured in Contemporary American Print Makers, written by E. Ashley Rooney and Stephanie Standish and published by Schiffer Publishing in 2015.

She is a founding member, with Laurencia Strauss, of the socially engaged art collective Fifty-Fifty, which negotiates cultural tensions through participatory art practices. Fifty-Fifty was featured in the group exhibition After Life, curated by Thea Quiray-Tagle for San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.

In 2008 and 2014, Bulawsky received Sam Fox School Creative Activity Research Grants, and in 2011, she received the School’s Excellence in Teaching Award. She was honored by the University at the 2013 Founder’s Day celebration, where she received a Distinguished Faculty Award.

Bulawsky earned her BA from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and her MFA with honors in 1995 from the University of Kansas.

Personal website

Work by Lisa Bulawsky

On a black background, a figure in the center of the composition (a textured form at the bottom, perhaps a pedestal) — what might be the head is textured, its surface closely dotted; its limbs suggest an ambiguous identity (not sure if animal or human or something else).

The Doubt of Being (regressed)

Lithography, inkjet and collage on paper. 62 x 46".
On a wooden table against a white wall, six sculptures, whose surfaces are reminiscent of stone and wooden textures. Some sculptures have geometric lines running across the surface; in others the lines are not as orderly.

The Doubt of Being; detail of mini-monuments from The Soft Spot Collection

Papier mache and handprinted paper. dimensions vary.
Red-orange/vermilion shapes, some with cut-out circles, tiled against each other closely on a cream-white background. Through/overlaid on these shapes are lines that suggest a faint black illustration.

The Doubt of Being (disassembled)

Collage, inkjet, and monotype on Evolon. 60 x 44".
An exhibition in a white gallery with dark floors. In the center of the image against a wall/panel is the title "PORTABLE MEMORIES IN RISING SEAS" in blue. On the walls are artwork, as well as video projections in the front and back. Sculpted objects are also on a white platform in the center of the space.

Fifty-Fifty, Portable Memories in Rising Seas, 2018

Installation view, The Sanger Gallery, The Studios of Key West.
Three people look up at a white wall mounted onto which are several black drawing boards, a composition clipped to each. The compositions range in light to dark blues; some have white or black text and colorful illustrations.

Fifty-Fifty, Portable Memories in Rising Seas, 2018

Installation view, The Sanger Gallery, The Studios of Key West.
Printed works tiled, landscape orientation, on a tall white wall: some compositions are rendered in warm, pink/coral/peach/orange hues, while others are in black and white. Five wooden tables/platforms positioned in the center of the space, the closest one to us displaying a book, which is open on a spread containing a grayscale photograph.

A Clearing of Measures, 2015

Solo exhibition/installation at the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum, Hollins University.