UPCOMING and CURRENT EXHIBITIONS
Five of my mezzotint engravings are currently on view in the group exhibition, Play It Loud, at The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Mezzanine Gallery. Located above the Museum’s bookstore, the exhibition will be on view through to September and, as part of the Museum Store, does not require a Museum admission fee.
New Orlean's Stone + Press Gallery is back on line after a post Katrina hiatus and continues to represent artists working in traditional printmaking techniques, particularly mezzotint engraving. Their new website is stoneandpressgallery.com.
I’ve just finished engraving a new plate that will be printed and published in the coming weeks. Information about the image is as follows ….
To explore how parts of objects can be greater or equal to the whole, I cut old proofs into strips and weave them. The reconstructed compositions may bring out abstracted architectural elements or emphasize the organic or animalistic features of the original subject. Using this approach with my print Machina, a mechanical bird-like figure emerged from the woven gear fragments. Feathers and other avian features were added while engraving an image based on the interlaced strips.
Thinking about our relationship with technology and birds reminded me of Hans Christian Andersen’s tale of a Chinese emperor whose love of a nightingale is usurped by infatuation with a mechanical bird. Eventually the automaton breaks, the emperor becomes sick, and the real nightingale returns from the forest to sing him back to health. In an era of emerging artificial intelligence, the story, and the print, may be interpreted as an allegory about the dangers of warping reality by investing emotions in technological phenomena.
My interest in outdated machinery often considers the relationship between technology and the evolution of language. Do words read on a screen have the same meaning, credibility, or staying power as words typed, handwritten, or carved in stone? If not, how does the medium alter the message, and what impact does context have on this transformation? These are some of the questions that, along with current events, inspired my mezzotint engraving Press Release.
Press Release, © Carol Wax, 2017, Mezzotint engraving, Image: 15 x 24 inches, Edition 75
OTHER NEW PRINTS
My mezzotints frequently include some burin engraving, but these miniature format engravings are my first executed entirely with the burin. The images were inspired by my graceful Weimaraner, the small 17th century caricature etchings of Jacques Callot, and my love of calligraphic gestures.
Reflect, Repose, Rejoice, Refresh, 2017, Burin engravings, Each image: 2 3/4 x 2 3/4 inches
The prints, published separately, are printed on 7 1/2 x 6-inch sheets of German Etching paper
OTHER NEW WORK
Big Drip recalls my print Falling Water and a fascination with plumbing and textiles. It also begs the question, “What’s in YOUR water?”
This image takes a break from current events and returns to drawing with graphite pencils. The image began as a single line cascading in waves from the top left corner of the sheet to the bottom right. The rest of the composition was improvised from this calligraphic gesture. The title was borrowed from the English composer Sir Edward Elgar’s 1899 orchestral piece, in which the original motif is also concealed amongst multiple variations.
My newest series of paintings uses objects to address timeless human struggles underlying events of our times. In these images, an articulated wooden hand stuck in a water valve dripping sludge is surrounded by murky shadows representing the layers of indifference that poison our water. Or, the myth of Icarus evokes the perils of succumbing to misguided entitlements and hubris, while a solitary exposed marble questions a society that alters children’s perceptions of shooters from toys to school intruders. In this way, material possessions are reinterpreted to reflect our changing cultural values and ethos.
When challenged by Earl Retif to create images inspired by my surroundings in the Hudson Valley, I struggled to find a personal approach. Referencing scenes in photographs forced me to address the dichotomy between reinterpreting documentation of an event, and memory or direct experience. The result combined my love of trompe l’oeil and impressions of light at the river’s edge.