Repeats shown at Atkinson Gallery

Bridget Veltri

The contemporary and modern print exhibit at the Atkinson Gallery leaves quite the impression on viewers.

Atkinson Gallery Director Dane Goodman defined contemporary as “the art of our times.” “Repeats,” contemporary and modern prints features impressive prints by Picasso, Lichtenstein, Tomayo, and other well-known artists from the second half of the 20-century.

“If I were to show this list of artists to people who know anything about art from the last 50 years, their jaws would drop,” said gallery Director Dane Goodman.

These artists used different kinds of prints to create their artwork such as, lithographs, woodblocks, and collage. Each print is made from an original surface and is designed by carving into the material. Lithographs are made from plates of metal and woodblocks are made from blocks of wood.

The print exhibit is honoring City College art professor Pamela Zwehl-Burk, artist and printmaker, who is retiring in May.

“Repeats” is a strategically installed exhibit. The prints are grouped together in threes and share a common look or theme within there grouping. One grouping involved a vibrant red color. The print, “Thank you Comrade Stalin,” in the corner, by Vitaly Komar and Alex Melamid, of Russia, pays a bold and sarcastic tribute to Stalin and the gallery.

At first glance Lucy Puls’, “Ursa Minor” and James Rosenquist’s “Caught One Lost For the Fast student,” appear to be photographs because they are so vibrant and clear. However, in taking a closer look the piece is a carefully designed print.

The title of the exhibit, “Repeats” derives from the fact that all prints are indeed repeated, that is made in numbered editions. There are about 23 prints in the exhibit each one different and unique. A variety of print techniques are used: etching, woodcut, silkscreen, linocut, and lithograph are all on display.

Both national and international artists are featured in the exhibit. All the works are from private local collections with a few exceptions that came from Los Angeles.

It would be easy for someone to overlook the amount of work that the artist puts into creating the print. “Blue hang Cliff,” by David Hockney looks like a pre-school finger painting, but when looked at it closely and after learning that there are 25 colors in the print, one realizes that no pre-schooler has that kind of talent, let alone that many finger-paints.

Those who attend the show will notice the print of a gigantic pink heart with a hammer above and a saw underneath it. This print provokes thoughts of repairing a broken heart with tools, if only it were that easy. But I am unclear if that is what the artist Jim Dine had in mind for the print because it is titled “Heart of the Opera.”

Overall each print in the exhibit is worthy of repeating.

The exhibit opened Monday Nov 3 and will run through Dec 15. The opening reception will be held Friday Nov 17 from 5-7pm.

Master printmaker James Reid of Gemini Graphic Editions Limited, a prominent art press in LA, will be speaking in the gallery about contemporary printmaking in the gallery on Nov. 29 at 4pm.