Opening in September: War Games | Paintings, Drawings, Prints of Robert Levers

PETAL TO THE METAL: NEW MONOPRINTS BY SUSAN DAVIDOFF

APRIL 22 - AUGUST 15, 2009
Artist's Reception: April 30 5 - 7 PM
Artist's talk 6 PM, April 30
 

In her new monoprints that she created at Flatbed Press in Austin, Susan Davidoff added a new element to her technique: copper. Davidoff--an established artist who lives and works in El Paso, Texas--is well known for her drawings and original prints that feature botanical subjects. Working directly from plant forms that she brings into the studio, the artist weaves a multi-layered image of the leaf and stem and petal forms found in the flora of West Texas and New Mexico. Often, she even incorporates into her works--in the form of earth pigments--some of the soils in which the plants grow, as well as natural pigments like cochineal.

Davidoff decided to use a time-honored printmaking technique for her most recent monoprints: copper-plate aquatint (aquatint is a way of achieving tonal areas in etching). Working with master printer Katherine Brimberry, the artist developed a plate on which she etched an aquatint derived from leaf forms. She then used this matrix to print the leaf-like images in various compositions and in several colors as the dominant background shapes. Over these, Davidoff worked with master printer Tracy Mayrello to render monotype layers of linear forms derived from grasses as well as other botanical elements.

The finished works are rich tapestries of plant forms and earth colors. Printed on very large sheets of archival, rag paper, these latest monoprints by Davidoff have a presence on the wall like that of Medieval or Renaissance textiles. Like so many of them, Davidoff's works celebrate the fecundity of earth's flora in an unusually elegant way. They also demonstrate the unique way that the printmaking process can extend the aesthetic range of a painter's work.