Ccp’s Still Lifes: Examining The Fine Print

Nancy Lasar, Round Table Still Life with Red Ball, 2009, monotype with mixed media.





By J. Fatima Martins

If Pandora, considered the first human woman in Greek mythology, had been an artist, I’m certain she would’ve been a printmaker. Inside her box or jar, depending on the interpre- tation, she’d have her magical, devilish printer’s tools. From her print press, she’d birth life, always changing, never still. Remaining in her box would be the “hope” for a perfect print.

The image of Pandora as print- maker arrived as I was looking at the work of Katja Oxman from her “The Secret Rooms” series. Oxman is one of seven master printmakers featured in “Still Life” an exhibition of exquisite prints at the Center for Contemporary Printmaking (CCP). The other formi- dable artists are Jack Beal, Janet Fish, Sondra Freckelton, Jane E. Goldman, Daniel Lang and Nancy Lasar.

Each one of these artists has created stunning, complex images that are lush in color with engaging line variations and an abundance of light, shadow and shifting space illusions described by CCP as “highlighting the intricacy and beauty” of the still life as a “densely orchestrated genre.” Each final print seems perfect. If there are any imper- fections, I could not find them. Any possible mistakes are either finely inte- grated into the composition or, because of their unexpected quality, living as unique stylistic elements. The exhibi- tion also presents images at different stages of printing to give the viewer an understanding of how color is layered and achieved during careful reprinting.

There are 34 images created by screen printing, etching, aquatint and monotype, as well as with hand- painted, archival pigment printing methods. Most of the works are mix- technique, and some are loaned by Stewart & Stewart, a printer, and pub- lisher of fine prints based in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. The exhibition is dis- played in CCP’s main gallery, entryway, hallway and lithography room. Visitors to CCP are allowed to enter the lithography space, where an enormous press is housed. CCP is a teaching center and the exhibitions serve a dual purpose: education and pleasure.

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