Traces of Ourselves at Baker Schorr

Selected prints, drawings, and paintings from the past twelve years will be on view at Baker Schorr Fine Art in Midland, Texas from February 25th to April 10th, 2021. This retrospective show, curated by Kathy Schorr, includes work from seven print portfolios, life drawing, panel sets from the Color Wheels series, and oil paintings from the At the Well series.

Kathy uncovered the title for this show, Traces of Ourselves, in an essay on printmaking and identity that I wrote back in 2014. Seven years later, I am thankful for the opportunity write again about the printmaking process and what it has meant to my practice:

I fell in love with prints before I learned how prints are made. There is magic in the texture, color harmony, and relief of a print—in a tonal field that darkens at the edges and reveals an intricate woodgrain web, or a palette of seven colors emerging from only three, or a black line that rises from the paper as it thickens.

I fell in love with printmaking when I learned that these effects come naturally with the process. However, to let them emerge, a printmaker must be willing to work almost entirely on an object that is not the artwork itself, but its origin. This matrix, either a metal plate, wooden block, or sanded stone will carry all or part of a print’s genetic code scratched, carved, or etched into its surface. It is the material with which the printmaker becomes most intimate—sometimes working for months into its mirrored surface—and yet, it is traditionally destroyed once an edition is complete. A print is a reflection. It is a literal reflection of an object inked onto paper and also a reflection of an indirect process which, not unlike the search for happiness, yields its rewards most reliably as byproducts.

Printmedia is a language specifically suited to the exploration of the human experience because in some sense, we are all perpetual printmakers, constantly leaving traces of ourselves on the world around us—whether footprints, fingerprints, or less visible impressions on the lives of others. Protein permutations of our parents, we are also prints ourselves, impacted by the daily life with which we come in contact. A copper plate is a single matrix that can be printed differently yielding a variety of results. In the same way, we are physical beings with a set of genetic and circumstantial givens, but we also have free will and the ability to change ourselves and others. In this retrospective show, through several print projects and series that focus on repetition of form, I have explored specific questions about identity—its creation, variability, persistence and change—by combining subject matter and thematically resonant printmaking techniques. It may be true that prints are only reflections of their missing origins, but thankfully, they offer infinite angles from which to reflect.

What: Traces of Ourselves, Retrospective Exhibition
Where: Baker Schorr Fine Art, Midland, TX
When: February 25-April 10, 2021, Reception: Feb 25th, 6-9
Ambiance: Reflections