Visual Arts

A Fresh Look at PrintMaking

During the summer-long PrintHouston 2015 festival, Houstonians can look forward to lectures, workshops, art exhibitions and special events at museums, galleries and alternative spaces. At Hunter Gather Project in its Fresh group exhibit, the focus is on pushing the boundaries of printmaking, as seen in works by contemporary artists Laura Grossett, Sandria Hu, Cathie Kayser, Marie Leterme, Cheryl Rogers and Cassie Normandy White.

Kayser, who serves as president of PrintMatters (the Houston organization that coordinates these printmaking events), offers four monochromatic prints with thoughtful titles. I would like to live my life without a safety net and Ghostly Presence of Longing II are delicate and meticulous netlike intaglios that suggest pulsing movement.

While Normandy White only has 3 works hung on the walls, be sure to view more of her prints on the table in the secondary gallery space. Her technique, of inking both sides of fabric with different colors and pressing between folded paper to reveal differently colored mirror images, results in saturated and colorful organic forms with woven texture that are a delight to behold. In Sea Populations II, she begins with a parent form and modifies subsequent prints slightly, adding and removing leaves, to create the 15 child images; the result is happy and harmonious. The same technique is invoked in a larger scale in the joyous Reflections on Satisfaction I & II, and she breaks out of the paper and into the next in her oversized 4-panel piece, Slippages.

In Ascending Swarm, Colorado-based artist Grossett illustrates the disposable nature of labor in the workplace through a swarm of worker bees, screenprinted on recycled paperboard and trailing testimonials from disgruntled workers. In previous exhibits, she displayed her three layered (copper-mylar-copper) bird specimens in artifact boxes, but this new installation of Presence in a formation arc with specimen tags is quite effective, especially paired with the embossed birds of Absence, representing those who are no longer with us. Crows, which are symbolic in many cultures, are rendered with both heaviness and translucency in A Murder Rising, which features 9 birds interacting with each other and captured in flight, attack and retreat.

Also from Colorado, Rogers addresses the concept of birthing planets in her two-dimensional MSM-4, but the theme becomes ethereal in 2012’s Untitled, featuring a world broken apart into arcs of fabric over wire, arranged like sails and moving toward an unknown future.

The delicate folds and detailed lace of christening gowns serve as the framework for Hu’s pieces, which represent archeological finds with their use of marbled papers, grid layouts, found objects and texts. The colorful Archeological Dress Xalapa #1, inspired by her recent trip to Yucatan, is beautifully textured as it draws the eye around the frame in a thoughtful journey to the copper leafed dress in the center.

Those who have survived natural disasters will respond to Leterme’s works that effectively show the natural renewal that is taking place in Galveston after Hurricane Ike. Untitled I, Untitled II and Untitled III (Regeneration series) display organic plant-like forms, interspersed with remnants of debris, in a gradual evolution from dark, to muted to a vibrant sunburst bloom of life.

Fresh continues through July 25, at Hunter Gather Project, 5320 Gulfton Street, Suite 15, open Monday to Friday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., 713-664-3302,

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Susie Tommaney is a contributing writer who enjoys covering the lively arts and culture scene in Houston and surrounding areas, connecting creative makers with the Houston Press readers to make every week a great one.
Contact: Susie Tommaney