Birch Contemporary

A Print Salon


Works in the exhibition

A Print Salon

Random observations, loose comparisons and personal bias are the agenda of this exhibition. A Print Salon signals a random stopping point in the cyclical life of the print since its revived popularity in the late 19th century; as influenced by changing aesthetics, evolving tastes, the sociopolitical landscape and everyday concerns.

From the religious symbolism of Odilon Redon's late 19th century, to the profane simplicity of Donald Sultan’s everyday objects; from the 1920’s and 1930’s figuration of John Sloan’s social realism and André Derain's idealism, to the dark sexual antics of David Salle’s decadent 1980’s. From the reduced interpretations of David Milne's Canadian landscape to the coded analysis of the constellations by Mitch Robertson; from the surrealism of Man Ray to the photo-realism of Robert Cottingham; from Micah Lexier’s high concept, minimalist tracking of single minutes to the angular abstraction of Luce Meunier, we follow the evolution of the medium as a vehicle to document, satirize and experiment.

Critically, printmaking has often been over-looked, perhaps seen as lacking the physical immediacy of painting and drawing. However, as works in A Print Salon prove, they can be more than effective in their visual impact and can offer to an artist something ‘other’ - a quality of line, the subtle emboss of a plate, the opportunity to replicate in multiple. Many of the artists included in A Print Salon are not primarily known as printmakers, yet each has turned to this medium of technique, process and distribution to create individual works and series that continue the legacy of the experimental artist print. 

Despite the abundance of print technologies now available, the allure of traditional print mediums continues into the digital age. The breadth of works presented in A Print Salon is testament to its variety and enduring aesthetic draw, from lithograph to relief prints, linear etchings to graphic screen prints, woodcuts to monotypes.