Art Review


Open Press, the fine print-making shop, is currently featuring a handsome group show in its gallery. Relief Prints refers to a process of making prints with blocks, either wood or wood-faced linoleum, that have been carved with patterns in relief. The blocks are then inked and finally pressed onto paper to create prints.

In the anteroom at the bottom of the stairs, Open Press master printer and gallery director Mark Lunning has hung the work of two artists, Australian Melissa Smith and Tim Flynn from Denver. Smiths representational linocuts and woodcuts were created in Tasmania. Flynns extremely simple prints were made here, and are held to the wall by complicated and luxurious sculptural brackets, constructed from the artists favorite art material, wire. Two of the prints even use wire as the relief element in the printing. All four are incredible, and especially cool is Flynns silver-wire signature that runs across the top of each.

In the main gallery, Lunning has included Geoffrey Ridge, Homare Ikeda and Reed Weimer. Ridge, like Smith, is represented by prints made somewhere besides Open Press; three of his six pieces were printed in Japan. And, also like Smith, Ridge is interested in representational images. Ikeda and Weimer are well-known local abstractionists. Two Ikeda series are displayed, and both kinds are quite elegant and closely interrelated. Weimers done more than a dozen linocuts, most the size of postage stamps, such as Wham: (above), in which non-visual words are translated into visual images. In addition to the visual equivalent of Wham,: Weimer tries his hand at Voom: and Nocturne,: among many others.

Relief Prints closes on November 11, but the gallery is open only on Fridays and Saturdays, so there are just a few days left to catch it.

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Michael Paglia is an art historian and writer whose columns have appeared in Westword since 1995; his essays on the visual arts have also been published in national periodicals including Art News, Architecture, Art Ltd., Modernism, Art & Auction and Sculpture Magazine. He taught art history at the University of Colorado Denver.
Contact: Michael Paglia