There is no singular way to address the conversation of race and representation in contemporary art. Personal to Political: Celebrating the African American Artists of Paulson Fontaine Press presents fourteen artists who capture the personal narratives and political discourses of African Americans across the country, reflecting a collective experience expressed in uniquely individual ways. This powerful exhibition of figurative and abstract artworks channels the poetics of human experience from past and present, and boldly presents ideas about history, identity, personal story, and spiritual inspiration.
The fine art prints in this exhibition were all produced at Paulson Fontaine Press in Berkeley, CA, an artistic hub that is known for inviting a diverse group of artists to the studio to produce fine art prints. Over their twenty-two years of operation, Paulson Fontaine Press has invited some fifty artists into their studio—many of whom have never before made prints. The printmaking process is a collaborative one; artists are not working alone in their studios, but with a professional staff that can give them ideas about the effect their creative choices will have on the plate, and eventually, the print. For most artists, learning to work outside their own studio, in another space, and with different processes and materials can be exhilarating, frustrating, rewarding, and eye-opening.
Prints are not simply a carbon copy of a previous work. To produce these prints, each artist physically etches or chemically alters the plates they’re working on, and they respond to what they see as the plate changes. The work evolves as they make it into a fine art print. It may resemble other work that they have created in their own studios with other media, but the resulting print is unique to that moment and process. We extend heartfelt thanks to Pam Paulson and Rhea Fontaine of Paulson Fontaine Press for their collaboration on this project and for generously lending their prints to the exhibition.
May 10, 2019 - July 20, 2019 at the Las Cruces Museum of Art