Here are some images from lucent: a traveling group show of small works curated by David Quinn. The first show has opened at UillInn: West Cork Arts Centre in Skibbereen, Ireland. The show focuses on indescribable poetic qualities emanating from each piece. The works require you to gently approach them as if to approach a delicate small insect or a flower and examine carefully to let the light reveal the rich surfaces and intricacies; by doing so you enter into special dialogues with the elusive yet undeniably tangible presence of the works. David has done a great job selecting the artists. His curatorial decisions are masterful. This is probably my favorite group show I’ve ever been part of, and it was great to meet some of the participating artists in Ireland. I would like to thank the director of the Arts Centre Ann Davoren for welcoming us with generous support. The natural beauty of Ireland was overwhelming. It was such a dreamy week being there.
From West Cork Art Center website:
29 July to 9 September 2023
lucent is an exhibition of small works curated by artist David Quinn, involving twelve international artists – Charles Brady (Ire), Niamh Clarke (NI), Vincent Hawkins (UK), Hiroyumi Hamada (JN), Tjibbe Hooghiemstra (NL), Jamie Mills (UK), Janet Mullarney (Ire), Helen O’Leary (Ire), David Quinn (Ire), Seamus Quinn (Ire), Sean Sullivan (US) and John Van Oers (BE). The exhibition runs across both galleries at Uillinn from 29 July to 9 September.
‘Although I have curated quite a few exhibitions, I am first and foremost an artist and not a curator. This exhibition is a very personal project. The work I have included is by artists whose work and progress I am always keen to see. I think there is a lot of truth in Robert Motherwell’s quote ‘every intelligent painter carries the whole culture of modern painting in his head. It is his real subject, of which everything he paints is both a homage and critique.’ To a greater or lesser extent, the artists in this exhibition have been inspirational to me or sometimes it is just as Emerson said ‘in every work of genius we recognise our own rejected thoughts’.
One of the common threads through the work of these artists for me is a sensitivity for materials and for the quality of line. Most of the artists here also blur the distinction between painting and sculpture. Their sculptures can be quite painterly and there is a subtle tactile element even to the works on paper. The other thing that interests me is that it is often hard to pin down exactly what the works are about (if that is what one is inclined to do). There is an inherent ambiguity in lots of the work, a vague open-endedness. Also the scale that these artists often work on is intimate and personal. The works are memorable rather than monumental, suggestive rather than didactic, playful rather than strict. Where there is order it is often subverted and generally an air of gentle irreverence. Ultimately though the thing that draws these works together for me is that I find them beautiful.’
David Quinn, 2022b
lucent is supported by an Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon Touring Award and will tour to Highlanes Gallery Drogheda (February to April) and Wexford Arts Centre (June to August) in 2024.
Last month, after a series of parts failures, despite many attempts to save it, my Piezography printer died. As a result, I have ended open edition printing of my prints. All the existing prints in various sizes are now limited edition prints. Edition sizes are noted for each print in each size at the Print section of my site. For those who have the prints and are interested in receiving an affidavit stating the edition number as a limited edition print, please DM me.
It’s been 8 years since I learned how to print with the unique method developed by Cone Editions Press. The system worked very well in producing reliable and superb results. Having my own facility ensured creating multiples from beginning to finish without any compromise. There is something so lively, immediate and tactile about how the ink hits the paper when all elements sing a song in a harmony.
Although there won’t be any more editions printed, the existing ones will be available as limited edition prints. Five of them will be in a traveling show this summer.
Here is my tenth Piezography print. For those who are not familiar with Piezography, it is a black and white photography printing method. It utilizes color inkjet printers, but the method uses black inks in the color heads, expressing varying degrees of grays instead of grays expressed with black dots. You load a special software to your computer which controls appropriate actions of the heads to produce black and white prints. It sounds complicated, but once your equipment is set up, it continues to work reliably. In fact, to me, one of the best things about it is its solidness in producing consistent results. It allows me to concentrate on the making part instead of getting bogged down with the technical part. A photographer friend of mine, Brian Miller, told me about it years ago, praising its exceptional print quality.
I start from a scanned drawing. Then I work on the image on the screen. After a meticulous and long editing process, back and forth from screen to paper, and vice verse, I arrive at a finished print. So the prints are not reproductions; there are multiples but each of them is an original.
For those interested in the prints, please take a look at the print section of the site. The new one will be added shortly.
B18-01, Piezography on archival cotton paper, variable sizes, 2019-22
Here is the 7th Piezography print. I’ve struggled quite a bit but I am very happy with how it turned out. The whole struggle with the print project is to express subtlety, gentleness, warmth, tangible mass of black emerging from actual ink hitting the paper as opposed to how we perceive the image on screen. Doing so with a digital software is certainly a challenge that requires more time and trials and errors. It has been very rewarding and educational, and very much humbling as well.
I am very happy about how the show turned out. The new piece (pictured below) was safely brought into the museum. It is surrounded by five of my Piezography prints. Scroll down for some images from the show…
82, 78 x 61 x 26 inches, pigmented resin, 2017-18
Hiroyuki Hamada: Sculptures and Prints
February 24, 2018 – March 25, 2018
Reception: February 25, 2018, 2:00pm- 4:00pm
Gallery Talk with Hiroyuki Hamada: March 10, 2018 2:00pm
Address: 158 Main Street, East Hampton, NY 11937
Click to enlarge
In Print on
Finally, here is a second Piezography print.
Making Piezography prints turns out to be much more challenging than I expected. The subtle differences between an image on a screen and an image on paper are quite large when one actually confronts them.
I suppose that the difficulty partially comes from the fact that the images are already done on screen. There is a step of translating in printing them. As I already mentioned, our computer screen generally has a much wider range of dark and light, but on paper we have a tactile subtlety that can’t be matched with an image on screen, at least not today. The Piezography printer setup simply has the capability to print with higher resolution than what we see on screen. Also there must be some fundamental differences in perceiving an image with an artificial light source behind the screen and an actual object reflecting a natural light source.
As we are all aware, the visual experience on the web truncates part of our perception and renders it somewhat different than the actual experience. But I guess that’s a topic that should be discussed separately.
Jon Cone, the developer of Piezography, provides a preview setting for Photoshop which mimics how the image will appear on paper. The setting is quite useful in the process and I will certainly use it for making new images.
I can describe the general difference between screen and paper but simply translating it mechanically just doesn’t work as you’d imagine. It’s like playing the same song with different instruments perhaps. I want to fully utilize the timbre of the printing method. And since I am the one who came up with the visual narrative, naturally, I feel the liberty of turning the process into a whole new making process.
Anyway, I’m very happy with the print. Hope you like it too.