A Celebration of All Things Cultural, Artistic, and Entertaining in Madison
Jan 10, 2013
04:17 PM

A Celebration of Prints at the Chazen

A Celebration of Prints at the Chazen

Tucked in a nondescript building on South Dickenson Street, Tandem Press quietly invites world-renowned artists to work and experiment with expert printmakers and UW–Madison students to create innovative and exciting contemporary prints.

Founded in 1987 in affiliation with UW–Madison’s art department, in no small part thanks to art professor William Weege, the artistic laboratory has since hosted more than sixty artists.

The public is always welcome to stop by and see what’s being made; more often than not, director Paula Panczenko will show you the latest prints herself. But perhaps the most dazzling way to see what Tandem’s all about is to check out Tandem Press: Twenty-Five Years, an exhibition running through February 3 at the Chazen Museum of Art, the official archive for the press.

The show is ideally situated in the soaring Pleasant T. Rowland Gallery, which allows viewers to appreciate just how enormous and complex some of the prints coming out of Tandem are.

One wall boasts an entire alphabet of Robert Cottingham lithographs. Each colorful work offers a crisp, graphic letter that looks like it was plucked from a storefront, neon sign or marquee.

Nearby are color etching and aquatint works by Sean Scully, pieces that are quite smaller than his art that filled this space when the museum debuted its expansion in October 2011.

A highlight is an entire wall of prints by Judy Pfaff. I had opportunity to see her work in progress at Tandem back in 2008, and it’s extraordinary. Her “Year of the Dog” series employs layers, cut-outs, translucency and different textures to convey elements of landscape, flowers, geometry, birds, trees and movement. You simply must see these twelve pieces in person.

In the back of the room are four works by Suzanne Caporael, including “Franchise,” a color relief from 2010. In it, fifteen horizontal bars are interspersed with white; the  lines are graphic but not perfectly straight.

The exhibition continues into a smaller gallery. Here, four square prints by Nicola López are reminiscent of her terrific 2009 show at the Chazen. In these works, a garble of industrial elements—a centralized mass of pipes, tubes, chains, mesh and block—looks like it’s about to burst right off the paper.

The room also showcases two symbol-infused works by T.L. Solien, eight shadowy images of the human form by filmmaker David Lynch, a large vibrant monoprint by Tandem founder William Weege, two pale nature scenes by Cameron Martin and coin-front portraits of Diocletian, Charles II and other notables rendered by José Lerma in playful colors.

There’s plenty more to explore and discover in the exhibition, and it gives a fantastic overview of the diverse artistic output taking place at Tandem. Visit tandempress.wisc.edu to learn more and chazen.wisc.edu for details on the show.

Images courtesy of Tandem Press.

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About This Blog

As managing editor at Madison Magazine, I'm also an unabashed arts enthusiast. Paintings, plays, music, movies—I'm intrigued by all forms of creative expression. I enjoy talking with artists and sharing their insights, challenges, inspirations and latest endeavors. Check in regularly for details on events, previews and reviews, artist interviews and more! 

– Katie Vaughn
Follow Katie on Twitter @katiemv

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