Sunday, September 6, 2015

Ephemera - Etchings by Stephen Lawlor, Exhibition Opening Reception

Viewers admiring the work of Stephen Lawlor
On Friday, September 4, 2015, New Grounds Gallery hosted an artist reception for Ephemera- Etchings by Stephen Lawlor. Stephen was the first place winner of our 2013 International Juried exhibition, and this 2015 solo exhibition is part of the award New Grounds offered. 

We are proud to showcase his stunning, multi-plate etchings!

Travelling all the way from Ireland, Stephen Lawlor was in New Mexico for the opening!

Stephen (left-center) discusses his work with other printmakers during the opening

A selection of Stephen's etchings in the New Grounds Gallery

Stephen Lawlor’s etchings reflect the history of western painting as a subject in itself but also include the natural world through the same filter. Lawlor’s images are evocative of abstracted ‘actual landscapes’, both of which have a definite relationship with a pre-photographic sensibility.

Stephen Lawlor, Outskirts, Etching, 9.75 x 11" 

All of the pieces in Ephemera are multiple plate etchings with spit-bite aquatint. Painting with acid onto the plate creates their fluidity of form and delicate tonal ranges. The master plate is drawn on hard ground with an etching needle that leaps and jerks all over the plate. This convulsive line creates tension and adds character to the dreamlike quality. They draw the viewer back in time and hold the attention by submerging the subject within these lines, forms and random marks which are unique to etching. Most of the works employ the use of four plates but some as few as two. The process of drawing, biting and proofing is physical and intense and requires a persistence and stamina which has been developed over many years.

Stephen Lawlor: Resonance II and Water and Light

Stephen Lawlor, Ecce Homo II, Etching 11.75 x 9.5"
Ethereal, poetic, spiritual, luminous, ambiguous, otherworldly, sensitive, intimate and diffuse are words that have been used to describe these etchings. The complexity of the overlapping layers of tone and colour the artist uses has no parallel in the mainstream within contemporary printmaking which adds to their unique strength.

Stephen giving his demo!
Stephen also provided a detailed, fascinating demo on his inking and printing methods during the exhibition opening. He demonstrated the use of three different plates, as well as a unique registration system that provides accurate results. We will be sharing a video of Stephen's demo shortly!

Stephen's three plates and his special palette of ink

Detail of one of the plates

Another angle of Stephen's inking station

Stephen Lawlor's visit is sponsored by the Honorary Consul for the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs in the South Western USA. 

More shots from the exhibition opening:

Did you miss the exhibition opening? Don't worry. The show runs through September 25, 2015. 

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