Untitled #6

A/P 2/2                    Untitled #6                      2010

Plate: 23 3/4″ x 23 3/4″, Paper: 29″ x 29 3/4

I just submitted some work to the International Print Center New York and figured I would post the prints I chose.  I’m always trying to better my ability to talk about my work to others instead of just saying “I make stuff” when asked what I do.  Also, my previous post “Open Space” was one of the five prints submitted to the IPCNY, so I figured that was a good jumping off point.  Of the five works I chose to submit three are monotype/relief, and only two were straight black and white relief.  This is curious to me, because relief printmaking is my greatest passion.  I absolutely love the flat, deep black that one can arrive at in relief when  contrasted with white or off white paper.  Maybe I’m putting a more fine art label on my monotypes, although I don’t really see any of my work as fine art.  I think there’s good and bad art.  Putting the label of fine art puts a HUGE air of pretentiousness on a finished work that I believe ultimately isolates the non-art society viewer, and creates an unnecessary separation/animosity between the public and the art-public.  But I’m ranting.  I really want to discuss the matter in this blog, but I want to organize my thoughts a bit more, and not just vomit out words.  Back to the print.

I have worked very hard at creating expansive depth within the confines of carved wood.  How far back can I take the viewer is the main question I pose to myself, before even picking up the charcoal pencil to draw on the block.  Like my other prints I almost never begin with a major idea for what the image is going to be.  I draw lines and patterns in charcoal pencil on the wood until eventually these components form shapes and dimension.  A lot of the patterns and lines are derived from physically manufactured elements I see when sitting on the bus or walking down the street.  These could be cracks in the sidewalk, a parking garage, or the shape of a house.  Rarely do I draw natural elements or people. Not sure why.

There is a lot of erasing and redrawing that goes into my woodblocks because of my need for depth.  Making elements smaller, larger or eliminating them all together becomes a laborious task, a labor of love.  The drawing period takes far longer than the carving period.  For instance, Untitled #6 took over a week to draw, and close to three days to carve.

Untitled #6 got its name because it is part of an ongoing series of untitled prints that I don’t want to name.  I feel that by naming them I would be imposing my intention upon the viewer, when in fact, I want the viewer to make their own conclusions, good or bad.  The pieces are all influenced greatly by my own little world in one way or another, and the subconscious nature of the non conceptual making process does hold both positive and negative psychological elements in the forefront, but they are my own elements and the viewer should play around and uncover their own .

I chose this print to include in the submission to the IPCNY, because this was my breakout onto a larger piece of wood.  Previous to this work, the others were all around 12″ x 12″.  In going bigger I was able to both make elements smaller and larger, creating a more expansive depth of field.  I have only printed two artist proofs, A/P’s, of this one so far, but plan on a full edition.  The notification date is March 18th, so my hope is to update this blog with the remaining three submitted prints before then, and post the results.

To view more of my woodblock and linocut work click here:


Copyright © 2011 by Drew Kail

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