Henrik Drescher's new work with Island Press in fall 2015 marked his second visit to Washington University, the first being more than 20 years ago. His work reflects the mountainous landscapes he has observed in China's Yunnan Provence, and he has said that the mountains in his work are a "riff on the tradition of Chinese ink landscapes." The Mountain/Machine series Drescher created at Island Press diverges from that tradition through the inclusion of his complicated, organic machines, which appear attached to, within, and around his unique, conical mountains. To learn more about the prints Drescher produced at Island Press, read this essay by John Foster.
Travel and place have long factored into the narrative paintings, prints, and sculptures of artist Lisa Sanditz. In recent years, she has turned her attention in large part to the globalized landscape, exploring the astonishing and often compromised relationship between the built environment and the natural world. During her residency at Island Press in spring 2014, Sanditz made two works that consider the impact of commercial agricultural practices on native habitats. To learn more about the prints Sanditz produced at Island Press, read this essay by Kelly Shindler.
Invited by Island press to spend time on-site in St. Louis in fall 2013, Shaun O'Dell immediately recognized the rich history of the surrounding landscape—a connection with place and nature that informs much of his work on paper, sculpture, and music of the past decade. With the exception of one print from the series, all were generated during visits with students to locations in the region, including the Gateway Arch, designed by architect Eero Saarinen for the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial; the confluence of the great Mississippi and Missouri Rivers; and the ruins of a prehistoric culture at the Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site. To learn more about the prints O'Dell produced at Island Press, read this essay by Gretchen Wagner.
Nina Katchadourian worked with Island Press in February 2013 to create prints for the first time in her professional career. While in residence, she explored several ideas and potential directions for projects, creating an atmosphere of experimentation, rigor, and play. To begin her exploration, Katchadourian brought along some items from her studiom, including whiskers from her cats and recent cell phone photographs that are part of her ongoing Seat Assignment project. These explorations led to two series of prints: a set of monotypes using cat whiskers as stencils, created during the residency and published in 2013, and a series of five etchings related to Seat Assignment, published in 2014. Gretchen Wagner explores the latter suite, titled Window Seat Suprematism, in this essay. To view studio photos from Katchadourian's residency, click here.
In a slight departure from his well-known freehand abstractions, James Siena embarked on a project with Island Press in fall 2012 that involved careful measuring and very precise edges, utilizing student helpers from the Printmaking program at the Sam Fox School to cut humanly perfect arrows from book board and PVC. The images of arrows refer overtly to commercial signage, but play both visually and metaphorically with opposition and nonconformity as is conveyed in the title of this group of prints: Underdogs. Siena's three large-scale relief prints will be available in late October 2013.