By Newlin Tillotson
Norwalk, CT – With a magnifying glass in hand, I visited the Center for Contemporary Printmaking in Norwalk, Connecticut to explore an exhibition of mini prints. The 9th Biennial International Printmaking Exhibition features more than 800 miniature prints compiled from artists around the world.
Lining the walls of the Grace Ross Shanley Gallery is more than 225 prints of various shapes and small sizes. There are woodcut prints, digital prints, dry point with chine collé prints, lithographs and legion paper prints — just to name a few.
In addition to the prints hanging in the gallery space, loose-leaf binders around the center include more than 600 mini prints. With so much to take in, it is difficult to find a starting point. I started in the back with some colorful prints by Eugenie Lewalski Berg. “Roller Blades” was one of Berg’s woodcut prints featured in the exhibit. It was a close-up of the tongue of the roller blade. At first glance it appears to be merely geometric shapes, but on closer inspection I realized it was the intersecting laces of the shoes.
The detail in many of the works can be appreciated upon close inspection. It made things a lot simpler when I found a basket of magnifying glasses. “The Honeymoon,” by Katrina Zaric from Serbia, is one such work that needs a closer look. Two owls perch on a tree, nuzzling their beaks into one another. The feathers have delicate detail and there is a peaceful night scene in the background.
With art from around the globe, the range in style was to be expected. Some mini prints were abstract, like Robin Sherin’s “Building Silhouette,” while others showed qualities of impressionism. Though the art was small in size, the prints made up for it in color, detail and expression.
(The International Miniature Print Exhibition is on display through September 1, 2013 at the Center for Contemporary Printmaking, 299 West Avenue, Norwalk, Connecticut. For more information, call (203) 899-7999.)