MATRIX PRESS: 20 Years of Collaboration
Jundt Art Museum, Spokane, WA
August 28, 2020 - January 3rd, 2021
"Matrix Press has been printing and collaborating with artists for over 20 years. This retrospective exhibition includes a culmination of some 80 prints representing 26 artists created at MATRIX Press by nationally recognized artists over the course of the past twenty plus years showcasing a broad range of artistic and technical approaches to the print. All the work was printed by student assistants in collaboration with the artists and printmaking faculty at the University of Montana-Missoula.
The artists selected over the years cover a wide range of ages, genders, backgrounds, experiences and artistic visions. Some had extensive printmaking backgrounds, while others were newly tuned into the medium. Some of those represented are considered pioneers and masters of their discipline.
Artists represented in this exhibition include those who have continued the activist tradition of printmaking such as Richard Mock- best known for his cutting political prints that appeared in the New York Times Op-Ed section from 1980-1996, Miriam Schapiro- one of the pioneering artists in the Feminist Art movement as well as new generation feminist artist Christa Carleton to Tom Huck- known for his intricately cut woodcuts inspired by the likes of Albrecht Durer.
Colorful abstractions by Arizona artist John Armstrong show a softer approach to the medium with whimsical forms which reference the landscape, while Monika Meler’s abstract architectural forms diffuse into their surroundings. Chicago artist Tony Fitzpatrick utilizes 50’s style tattoo art in his color etchings, while Canadian artist Peter Von Tiesenhausen’s boat forms float mysteriously on metallic fields.
The exhibition also highlights the work of 8 Indigenous artists who explore both traditional and contemporary themes in their work including Washington artist Joe Feddersen, Melanie Yazzie, Jason Clark and Lillian Pitt . Many of these residencies were made possible through a collaboration between MATRIX press and the Missoula Art Museum with additional support from the Warhol Foundation. Each of these artists represents a unique, beautiful and thought provoking personal vision reflecting their cultural heritage, beliefs and iconography. The works included highlight a range of visual expressions, from large scale woodcuts talking about climate change, to lithographs expressing protest, resistance and resilience. Additional works in the exhibition explore myths and legends while other works investigate cultural patterns found in beadwork or basketry. Artist Jason Clark notes that the work is completely contemporary, it’s looking toward the future… and yet you can see the roots of the past, you can see the roots of each culture in these prints.
Additional prints by well know Spokane artists Mary Farrell and new comer Reinaldo Gil Zambrano round out the exhibition.
-James Bailey, Director-MATRIX Press