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Prints as Sculpture

January 16 – February 9, 2018

Three Dimensional Prints Contain Layers of Movement, Meaning at the Chandler Gallery

At this printmaking show, books the size of a penny comprise a tiny library, a giant paper rose blooms in in the corner, and rolled paper strands pour down from a swirl of copper tubing. “Prints as Sculpture” at the Chandler Gallery features sculptures that utilize at least one aspect of printmaking. Curated by artists Rhoda Rosenberg and Boriana Kantcheva, the exhibit explores how adding the dimension of depth can open up new possibilities for prints.

In some pieces, printed designs serve primarily to activate the surface of the sculpture. For “Nesting, Family Debris Prints” the Lisa Barthelson shapes white paper printed with abstract blue designs into a nest containing five eggs, which are also wrapped in printed paper, and tied with string. The blue parts of the nest are crisscrossed with white lines that suggest the texture of twigs. In Phyllis Ewen’s “Tidal Fugue,” overlapping ocean maps mimic the ever-changing surface of the sea. White and blue outlines of the Massachusetts coastline including Cape Cod, Cape Ann and Nantucket Sound are interspersed with blue and teal puzzle pieces. The collage juts out from the wall, and the relief effect evokes a topographical map or the texture of ripples on the water.

Other works use the sculptural element to enhance the meaning of the prints. Kay Dolezal’s “Rosary Memories” is a rosary made from paper cubes. The rosary “beads” are covered in black and white images that appear to be old family photographs. By creating a rosary with these images, instead of hanging the pictures on a wall, Dolezal intertwines the symbolic associations of Catholicism and childhood memories, thus adding resonance to both the photographs and the rosary. This rosary literally incorporates family history into the prayer.

In “Le Cirque Imaginaire,” Annie Silverman uses sculpture to expand a circus scene. Two flat circles hang on the wall, one above the other, each one enclosed by a protruding edge. A tiny metal ladder vertically bisects the two circles, and cutout images of trapeze artists cling to the ladder as they cavort through the air. The faces of audience members are pasted flat against the bright yellow, orange and green background. This piece uses the 3D element to differentiate the spectators from the performers and make the show more exciting by lifting the performers off the “ground” that the spectators inhabit.

“Prints as Sculpture” is on display at the Chandler Gallery from January 16-February 9. The opening reception will be held on January 18 from 6-8pm. The Chandler Gallery is a program under the umbrella of the Agassiz Baldwin Community, a private, non-profit organization that has provided quality programs and services in the Cambridge community for over 40 years. Agassiz Baldwin Community also manages Maud Morgan Arts, a full arts program of classes and workshops for all ages. Maud Morgan Arts works to reflect the diversity of talents of the community, bringing people together to make art, share art, and support visual arts education.