In the Galleries - Mark Making CLOSES November 30 at SLU Museum of Art

Valerie Hammond's Traces II, part of Mark Making: Prints from Wildwood Press.
Valerie Hammond's Traces II, part of Mark Making: Prints from Wildwood Press.

Mark Making: Prints from Wildwood Press Massive in scale, intricate in imagery, wildly inventive in technique, the prints that comprise this survey of work by locally based Wildwood Press are nothing short of extraordinary. Founded in 1996 by Maryanne Ellison Simmons, Wildwood has engaged with local and national artists to produce prints that defy the conventions of the medium. In a recent project with Jane Hammond, for instance, what appear to be snake skins, butterflies, turtle shells and other Natural Curiosities (as the piece is titled) are actually items meticulously hand-printed on handmade paper, molded and pinned to resemble delicate animal specimens. In Josely Carvalho's piece The Book of Roofs, fabric banners printed with writhing imagery from India's antiquity hang from the ceiling, animated further by the artist's projected video loops. On a smaller scale, Erin McKenny paints balsam fir pine cones with lines of American landscape poetry and then displays each one in its own box, handcrafted at Wildwood. Two-dimensional works prove no less elegant, nuanced or impactful: Eva Lundsager's monoprints revel in the alternately delicate and explosive intuitive marks of her signature watercolors and paintings; Michael Berkhemer's prints seem to strain under the weight of deeply saturated colors; Anne Appleby's layers of diaphanously hued handmade paper are suffused with gentle luminosity; and David Shapiro's prints, laced with bold abstract forms, take on the texture of woven fabric. Through November 30 at the Saint Louis University Museum of Art, 3663 Lindell Boulevard; 314-977-2666 or www.slu.edu/x16374.xml. Hours: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Wed.-Sun.

 
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