The art of HP Expert & Mentor Dorothy Simpson Krause is being showcased in a solo show at the 571 Projects contemporary-art gallery in New York City from March 3 through April 16. Entitled “Visions,” the exhibit features ten monoprints and six emulsion transfers that evoke the mystery of architectural space and light.
Krause made all of the prints in her studio, starting with images output on her HP Designjet Z3100. While this fact may interest other artists, photographers, printmakers, it won’t make a whole lot of difference to the upcoming generation of collectors who will come to 571 Projects seeking original art that speaks to them in a deep and powerful way.
This 24 x 24-inch monoprint in the “Visions” exhibit at 571 Projects is entitled “Holy and Enchanted.” After Dorothy Krause printed the imagery onto DASS Transfer Film on her HP Designjet Z3100 printer, she transferred the image from the film to fresco that she had coated with DASS SuperSauce Solution. The transfer techniques are described in Bonny Lhotka’s new book “Digital Alchemy.” Photo ©Dorothy Simpson Krause, www.dotkrause.com
The images in the “Visions” series depict doorways, windows, and hallways from which light either shines or recedes into blackness. As in the poem “Kubla Kahn” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Dot’s work shows how beauty is often underscored with violence, potential or real. Some of the abandoned passages appear submerged below the surface of water like the shifting memory of dreams or the impending disappearance of civilization as we know it.
Many readers of this blog may already know about Dorothy Krause because she was among the first to incorporate digital prints into the hands-on art of traditional, mixed-media printmaking. Since the 1990s, Dot and her collaborators, Karin Schminke and Bonny Lhotka at the Digital Atelier, have helped thousands of other artists and photographers learn how to creatively combine digital prints with traditional printmaking and bookbinding.
We recently spoke with Dot Krause (DK) and the owner of the 571 Projects gallery Sophie Bréchu-West (SB-W).
Q. How long have you been working the Visions series?
DK: I started working on it towards the end of last summer, for the “Portals” show that the Digital Atelier will be having the Art Complex Museum in Duxbury, MA in conjunction with the Boston Cyberarts Festival. That exhibit will run from May 15-July 17 and will focus on the concept of “portals”—both grand and imposing entrances and creative and technological gateways to other realms.
So, I had started looking for doorways, images, and passages that were both physical, yet otherworldly. I began combining the portals with other photos that I had taken—a pool with floating leaves and flowers, and reflections of trees upside down. Then, I began to think about the poem “Kubla Kahn” and architectural fragments beneath the water.
After Sophie called and said she wanted to show some of my work, she came up for a studio visit. I thought it would be best to display my newest work, so I showed her these works in progress. She took a real leap of faith that these works would all come together as they have.
Q. Why did you choose Dot’s work for a solo show?
SB-W: I first fell in love with Dot’s work when I was an intern at The Judi Rotenberg Gallery in Boston before I moved to London to earn my master’s and work in other galleries. I have always thought Dot’s work was really spectacular.
When I opened my own gallery about 18 months ago, I was looking for shows I could put on in the spring. March is an important month in New York, because The Armory Show and other art fairs run at the same time. These shows attract tens of thousands of serious collectors of contemporary art to New York. I thought Dot’s work would be perfect for this pivotal time.
These three 36 x 28 inch emulsion transfer prints, entitled “Alleyway,” “Reflection,” and “Golden,” are included in a solo exhibition of art by Dorothy Simpson Krause at 571 Projects in New York from March 3 to April 16. Krause used the HP Designjet Z3100 photo printer in her studio to output the images onto DASS Transfer Film, applied a DASS SuperSauce transfer solution to inked-surface of the film, then transferred the image to a paper made from crushed stone. Photo ©Dorothy Simpson Krause, www.dotkrause.com.
Q. Although artists understand traditional printmaking terms, would you please clarify the terms “monoprint” and “emulsion transfer” for photographers and people who may be new to art collecting?
DK: In printmaking terminology, a monoprint is a one-of-a-kind print that uses a repeatable matrix, such as a computer file, to produce a series (edition) that is consistent in subsequent prints but changed in some way to keep each print unique. Changes may include size, substrate, color or handwork.
The 24 x 24-inch monoprints that Sophie has chosen for the “Visions” show combine dreamlike images with the natural textures of rough fresco surfaces and non-woven fabrics or the shimmer of brushed aluminum and silver leaf. No more than six images will be made from each matrix.
As for emulsion transfers, any photographer who shot Polaroids in the past may have already experimented with these. In traditional emulsion transfers, the emulsion layer from a Polaroid™ photo print was peeled off, applied to another paper, and further manipulated for artistic effects.
Now that Polaroid film is so hard to come by, one of my collaborators in the Digital Atelier, Bonny Lhotka, has developed processes and materials that can be used with inkjet printers to make emulsion transfers with her DASS transfer film. These processes are described in her new book, “Digital Alchemy.” (The materials, book and her workshop schedule can be found on the Digital Art Studios Seminar website.)
Each emulsion transfer in the “Visions” show features a 30 x 22-inch image on a 36 x 28-inch paper made from crushed stone. The characteristic rippling edge of the traditional Polaroid transfer enhances the feel of flowing water. They will be offered in a limited edition of six.
Q. Dot, ever since you were an artist-in-residence at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in the mid 1990s, you’ve been experimenting with all sorts of digital printmaking techniques. Why did you choose to use transfer processes with your Designjet Z3100 instead of taking your work to a print-service provider and having the images output on a flatbed printer?
DK: While I’ve loved working with flatbed printers, access is limited. Now with DASS Transfer Film and DASS SuperSauce, you don’t need to have a flatbed printer to reproduce your art on rigid, non-porous materials. With Bonny’s techniques, these materials can be used to transfer images produced on the aqueous inkjet printers that so many artists, photographers, and designers already have in their studios. After the image is printed on the DASS transfer film, it can be transferred to almost any surface an artist might choose to use.
The HP Designjet Z is a thermal inkjet printer with aqueous pigment inks that allow me to produce transfers with gorgeous, vivid, rich colors.
571 Projects is a contemporary art gallery specializing in emerging and mid-career artists. It is located at 551 West 21st St. in Chelsea. If you can’t attend the show personally, visit the 571 Projects website (www.571projects.com) or follow the gallery on Facebook or Twitter.
Sophie Bréchu-West launched 571 Projects to bridge the gap between dynamic emerging and mid-career artists and engaged collectors. She has more than 10 years of experience working in the international gallery world and is an alumna of Christie’s Masters in Contemporary Art and Connoisseurship Program.
To see the full range of Dot Krause’s work and details of other exhibitions and shows, visit: www.dotkrause.com