Author Archives: ellenheck

Elliptical Thinking at Wally Workman

Please join us in Austin, Texas for the opening of Elliptical Thinking. All new work from the past two years, the show includes eight large scale color wheel compositions, several diptych Conversations, and prints from the Fascinators series of allegorical portraits. To read more about the work and the thinking behind each piece, the interior of the show catalog can be downloaded in pdf format here. Wally, Rachel, and I look forward to seeing you in the gallery!

What: Elliptical Thinking (Part II)
Where: Wally Workman Gallery, Austin, TX
When: October 7-28, Artist Talk: Oct 5th @ 6pm, Opening: Oct 7 @ 6pm
Ambiance: 179 panels and all the spaces between them

Northern Print Plate Prep

HECK_NorthernPrintTestPlateProofs

From the end of May to the beginning of June, I enjoyed working at Northern Print in Newcastle upon Tyne. The studio, with a full suite of printmaking facilities awards a residency prize at each Biennale. I was fulfilling 2014’s prize and was lucky to overlap with 2016’s awardee Lisa Andrén. Above, testing three copper plates at 100% black for the newest edition. Below, the ferric chloride corner:

HECK_NorthernPrintFerric

Powdered pigment for ink mixing:

HECK_NorthernPrintPigments

Aquatinted plates, clean and ready:

HECK_NorthernPrintPlatePrep

A caged proof:

Finding the time:

HECK_NorthernPrintFile

Save

11e Biennale de Gravure: Dérive(s)

The 11th Biennale de Gravure opens this Friday at La Boverie in Liège, Belgium. The theme of the exhibition cycle is “Dérive(s)” or “Drift(s),” which references the “Dérivation” canal that meets the Meuse river to form the peninsula on which the museum is located. While researching the concept/translation, I was seduced by an extension of the word put forth by Guy Debord describing “a technique of rapid passage through varied ambiances” in which you allow yourself to “drift” (usually through an urban landscape) without a planned destination. It is a way of discovering the world often used while traveling, moving to a new place, or following toddlers all of which I have enjoyed doing in the past two years.

While this research impacted choices for color wheels I was painting late summer of last year (particularly Carolina Color Wheels: Drift), the prints in this show are several portraits from the Fascinators series (2016) as well as selections from Lonely Hearts (2014) – both of which take on “drift” from a more psychological angle.

Here is a complete list of my fellow printmakers whose work will be on view during the biennial. The opening and ceremony will take place Friday March 17th at 7pm.

What: 11e Biennale de Gravure: Dérive(s)
Where: La Boverie, Liège, Belgium
When: March 17 – May 14, 2017
Ambiance: This building makes me want to check a coat and open a journal.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Elliptical Thinking

heck_mobiuscascade

Elliptical Thinking opened this Saturday at Rockport Center for the Arts with an artist talk, opening reception, and the official beginning of a six week residency. Taylor Hendrix, director of visual arts, led the question/answer style talk beginning with a poem by Wendell Berry:

Traveling at Home.

Even in a country you know by heart
it’s hard to go the same way twice.
The life of the going changes.
The chances change and make a new way.
Any tree or stone or bird
can be the bud of a new direction. The
natural correction is to make intent
of accident. To get back before dark
is the art of going.

heck_ellipticalthinking

We used the poem to inspire thoughts about repetitive practices and making room for chance in the art process. On view are several new color wheel sets created this year in North Carolina and the “sketchbucket” models suspended in a cascade near the opening of the garden gallery. I will be demonstrating the printing process for the next few weeks here on the Art Center’s press, a custom model donated by the well-known Rockport native artist Al Barnes.

heck_mobiuscascade2

What: Elliptical Thinking – residency and exhibition
Where: Rockport Center for the Arts, Rockport, Texas
When: October 15 – November 19, 2016
Ambiance: coastal accumulation of consideration and repetition

Save

Under Pressure at Rochester Contemporary

Processed with Snapseed.

Sponsored by the Print Club of Rochester, Under Pressure opened this weekend at Rochester Contemporary. Scale, in its full spectrum, was a choice made apparent by the collection of work, from Heather Swenson’s card-sized screenprint series to Jenny Robinson’s larger architectural intaglios. (below)

14188540_10153729734486712_9151167235349558557_o

Limited palette also played a strong role in the overall feel of the exhibition. Heather’s collections of in-progress inquiries are fresh and conscientiously optimistic. I’ve been in love with her work since jurying the club’s Echoes of the Past show this past spring. Here are the first 35 cards in her year-long weekly-editioned series The Tiny Print Project with close-ups of week 12 and week 29 (my personal favorite). The space left open on the bottom shelf will allow her to add the three prints she’ll create during the weeks the exhibition is on view:

HeatherSwenson3

HeatherSwenson2

Heather’s work manages to be clear-eyed and confusing, familiar and foreign at the same time. Every one of her pieces seems to be a short story prompt or at least an invitation to daydream. In week 29, I imagine a tiny occupant in each of these aquarium-like balconies and a small stairwell in between, the two inhabitants meeting there sometimes to take refuge in the windowless retreat. Perhaps each only ever looks out of his or her one designated window and describes the view to the other in that enclosed space between. It also looks a bit like a Lego piece, like a giant child could pick it up and click it into place. Here’s an angled view of one of her larger screenprints:

HeatherSwenson1Angle

My own palette is not dissimilar from Heather’s. We both gravitate towards teals and grays, fresh sands, and a guarded, but intentional use of vibrant accents. Moderation in all things – including moderation. For this installation, I chose two Carolina Color Wheels that would hang well with a new series of portraits from 2016, Fascinators, a portfolio of girls wearing paradoxical or mathematical topographic shapes as hats.

HECK_Fascinators2016

14188526_10153729733836712_7978895535624637880_o

I’ve written a bit about the ongoing Color Wheels series here. While the process is still the same, the most recent abstract panel groupings have focused more intentionally on trying to describe consciousness, emergentism, and linked thought-related processes. Similarly, the Möbius strip hats worn by the girls in the portrait series are also looking at and attempting to visually solidify thought processes.

ColorWheels-Drift_2016_44x44

Overall, four types of printmaking are highlighted in this show. April Vollmer‘s work brings Western iconography to hieroglyphic narrative woodcut scrolls. Jenny Robinson‘s large-scale architectural intaglios combine collagraph with monoprint. Heather Swenson is showing several screenprinted still lifes inspired by collage. And finally, my Fascinators portraits are each combinations of woodcut and drypoint, while the Carolina Color Wheels mix media with drypoint on copper.

UnderPressure2

 

What: Under Pressure: Redefining the Multiple
Where: Rochester Contemporary, Rochester NY
When: September 2 – 25, 2016
Ambiance: space in which conscientiously compressed areas of space breathe