Kimberly Henrikson, the executive director of The Center for Contemporary Printmaking (CCP), curated its autumn exhibition “Text Messages,” that opens on September 11 and runs through October 30. I recently spoke with Henrikson about her curatorial choices for this show and the blue chip and emerging artists that reflect today’s text-based trends including Ben Beres, April Bey, Mel Bochner, Robert Cottingham, Lesley Dill, Shepard Fairey, Glenn Ligon, Edie Overturf and Lucas Samaras. Two of the names are of past CCP Resident Artists: April Bey (2019) and Edie Overturf (2021).
“I am always scouting fairs and galleries to see what’s current, who is doing what — and to bring new ideas and artists to the community at CCP,” said Henrikson, talking about the excitement of first seeing prints by Ben Beres at Satellite Print Fair in New York City in 2019. “Davidson Galleries had the Beresprints on view. I hadn’t seen anything like them before. Beres makes the word, or words, the entire subject of the print. He creates a beautiful textural handling of the letters themselves. In some cases, he’s broken a word into pieces, wrapping text to begin on another line at an unexpected point. The resulting segmented presentation may make two or more completely different words, sometimes with contradictory meanings from the original full word. It takes work to read even the simplest text that Beres presents, but it’s an enjoyable exercise playing with language in this way.”
Henrikson went onto speak about the development of the exhibition, “Text Messages,” saying that she was familiar with artists who were known for incorporating text and language such as Mel Bochner, Lesley Dill, Glenn Ligon and Robert Cottingham and thought it would be of value to bring together prints from both established and early career artists to have their work in dialogue with each other in the gallery.