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Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Angela Young - Artist of Distinction

Angela Young is a lithographer. While the practice of lithography has existed for a long time - back to around 1800 - it is not all that common to see lithographs in art shows. Certainly painting and photography far outnumber everything else that one sees in most art shows. What drew me to Young's prints was the depth of emotion portrayed so well in the drawing of her subjects and the fact that this emotion is enhanced by the monochrome nature of the medium. I came back again and again to these pieces. In terms of subject and artistic sensibility, they provide a noteworthy contribution to Still Point Art Gallery's exhibition: American Portraits: Diversity in Our Land.


Young provided some commentary about her pieces in the show. 

The three lithographs in the show were all done during my undergraduate career at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. The portrait with the finger on the chin was done when I studied abroad in Europe at a printmaking studio in Edinburgh, Scotland. The studio was called Edinburgh Printmakers. I did a lot of self-portraiture as an undergraduate to explore different emotions as well as to explore how the slightest change of movement or change in light can completely alter a composition.

The process of lithography involves a stone or metal plate from which the image is to be printed. Part of the area on the stone or plate is ink-receptive and a blank area is ink repellent. The artist covers the plate with a sheet of paper and runs both through a press under light pressure. The resultant "original print" is of considerably greater intrinsic worth than the commercially reproduced poster which is mechanically printed on an offset press. Original Stone Lithographs begin with the artist doing a drawing by hand on limestone or marble. Each stone is used to print one color. This is the oldest lithographic technique, and still the best. The best stones are Bavarian limestone; these are gray in color and have a clear complexion free of fossils and other flaws. These stones are becoming increasingly rare. Original Plate Lithographs begin with the artist doing a drawing by hand on aluminum plates. Plates are cheaper than stones, readily available and easier to transport. These factors make plate lithography a popular alternative to stone lithography for the creation of original prints. Whichever method is used, after the edition (the number of impressions made) is hand-printed, each impression is signed and numbered by the artist, and the mark, or chop, of the printer is embossed on each print. Imperfect impressions are destroyed, the stones and plates are effaced, and each edition is carefully documented.

“The real subject of many – some would say all – works of art is the artist himself.” I have always enjoyed drawing the human figure and including it in the art I create. I found a lot of inspiration simply by looking at myself in the mirror and taking photographs. I thought after the first couple of drawings of my face that I would be limiting myself and I would run out of possibilities on how I could draw the figure, but soon found how the slightest change of movement of the body or the lighting could completely change the composition. I realize now that I find excitement in the way light falls on form and I am now incorporating elements of nature along with the figure to show how the two can relate and interact with one another.  I find it interesting to discover how it will change the viewer's perception of the piece if there is an unexpected element added.

I'm currently pursuing a Master of Fine Arts degree in Printmaking from the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University.



Self-Portrait (28 x 19.5) stone lithograph, framed $1500
Sorrow (17 x 25) stone lithograph, framed $800

Return to Still Point Art Gallery

Christine Brooks Cote
Still Point Art Gallery
May 5, 2010

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