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'Impact - the Big Print'
at Orange Coast College Art Gallery, Costa Mesa, California
Recommendation by Suvan Geer


Roger Herman, 'Pink Tank,' 2000.

In this age of inkjet and laser printers when images can be instantaneously spit out with the touch of a ‘print’ button, the power of handmade prints might well be considered on the wane. “Impact – the Big Print” dismisses any such notion. The massive scale of these lithographs, serigraphs, and block prints that fill walls or hang like long scrolls from the ceiling are riveting. The wall spanning scale makes the hand labor of carving wood blocks like Roger Herman’s wry, bright pink “Tank”, and Patrick Merrill’s haunting black and white “The Whores of Babylon”, stunning to contemplate. It also allows us to soak in the amazing color of Helen Frankenthaler’s large, luminous “Guadalupe;” the velvet-night blue of Sarah Bayer’s “Crescent;” and to feel the vibrant energy of June Wayne’s crashing tidal wave triptych. Lesser sized works feel downright miniature in this company, but still have hefty dimensions. Their sizes provide marvelous treats, like Richard Estes’ color rich, 300 screen photo realist print of reflective city windows in the “Holland Hotel”, and the two towering personalities captured in bold shape and line in Dirk Hagner’s ceiling hung portraits of Egon Schiele and Kathe Kollwitz. In prints this large there is something almost alive about the tactile surface of thick papers, soaked in ink and crushed into stones and plates by powerful presses. It’s a great feeling.

Published courtesy of ArtScene © 2009

Orange Coast College, Frank M. Doyle Arts Pavilion

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