Under Pressure 

CC prints span an impressive 35 years

click to enlarge Susan B. Merediths Untitled is on display in CCs - Coburn Gallery.
  • Susan B. Merediths Untitled is on display in CCs Coburn Gallery.

Beyond the Fine Art Center's silkscreen prints of Andy Warhol, and just a few blocks north, art lovers can enjoy a veritable visual encyclopedia of printmaking this month. Pressure, at Colorado College's tiny Coburn Gallery, celebrates 35 years of printmaking at CC with works by such notables as Mary Chenoweth, Eric Bransby, Emilio Lobato, David Hazlett and Jean Gumpper.

For the sheer variety of technical skills on display, the show stands out. Printmaking, with its many subdivisions -- woodblock printing, intaglio etching, collograph, lithograph, monoprint with chine colle and others -- basically is the art of creating a matrix, or master design, either by engraving or building up a surface and transferring the design to paper with inks or paints. The results on display here are far-ranging in both content and style.

Chenoweth, a much-beloved longtime resident of Colorado Springs until her death in 1999, produced everything from large-scale paintings to hand-carved wooden doors (one of which is on display here). Her intaglio etchings and woodblock prints are challenging and vivid examples of her breadth of interest in subject matter and her technical skills. Her abstract designs evoke motion and an angular energy.

Hazlett's elegant series of monoprints features a mysterious black orb suspended in light. Kate Leonard's mixed-media prints, including a lovely one titled "Alluvial Seed," are multi-textured and equally mysterious.

Gumpper uses woodblocks to print close-up scenes from nature. Her print "Constant Change" is a rich evocation of water swirling in a leaf-littered stream. Her talent as a colorist is equal to her precision as a printmaker.

Daisy McConnell has two prints in the show, "Figment (Aqueous)" and "Figment (Botanical)." Each features a glowing party dress of no particular color at its center, and side by side, they make an intriguing pair. The former is printed over with a filigree of blue shells and sea creatures; the latter with delicate red flowers.

Bransby's piece, "Grand Jette," a lithograph print, is a masterfully drawn image of a female dancer, her foundation leg strong and ramrod-straight as her upper body is shown in every transitional phase of a graceful forward fold.

Many of the works in the show are for purchase, while others are part of the college's permanent collection.

-- Kathryn Eastburn


Pressure: 35 Years of Printmaking at Colorado College

Coburn Gallery at the Worner Student Center, 902 N. Cascade Ave.

Gallery open Tuesday-Saturday, 12:30-7:30 p.m.; gallery talk and reception for the artists Thursday, Oct. 6, 4:30-7:30 p.m.; show runs through Nov. 19.

Free; call 389-6797 for more information.


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