Although wildly different, two shows this month one of prints by internationally known artists, the other of subversive needlework have repetition as a central element.
Polígrafa Obra Gráfica
Polígrafa Obra Gráfica, the esteemed Barcelona-based print workshop, is the focus of an intimate show at New Gallery of Modern Art. Featured are 10 of the 300-plus artists who have made prints there, including Joan Miró, the first artist Poligrafa worked with in 1961; Robert Motherwell; Helen Frankenthaler; and Eric Fischl.
Although most artists come to Barcelona to work with Poligrafas master printers, there are no rigid rules. Over the years, it has sent a team to London to work with the reclusive Francis Bacon, shipped printing plates across continents, and occasionally worked from JPEGs supplied by computer-oriented artists.
Donald Sultans mesmerizing Trumpet series typifies Poligrafas flexibility. Sultan began these lithographs at another print house, but when it closed, Poligrafa owner José Aloy jumped at the chance to invite Sultan to Barcelona. Sultan shipped his plates from New York and then came to Poligrafa to finish the project.
Unlike many print workshops that concentrate on a single technique, Poligrafa can handle lithography, silkscreen, etching and more. It specializes in very small editions, which seldom run over 25 prints and sometimes are as small as three.
Poligrafa works with a mind-boggling array of artists, from the emerging to the venerated, creating prints from the abstract to the political. We look for quality, says Aloy. We dont care about subject. We dont care about anything at all but the artist.
New Gallery of Modern Art, through Dec. 10. 435 S. Tryon St., Suite 110. newgalleryofmodernart.com; 704-373-1464.
Nava Lubelski: SelvEDGE
Nava Lubelski takes old fabrics in myriad forms a tablecloth, an electric blanket, an upholstered chair and changes them in striking ways. By embroidering around their rips and stains, and sometimes destroying and reassembling them, she creates works that inspire reverie.
For the tender but disquieting Unmade, Lubelski took a vintage dress with a cabbage rose print and cut out most of the roses. The dresss shredded remains hang on the wall, but pinned around it and piled on the floor are dozens of the roses, which Lubelski transformed into tiny pillows.
In First Cavalry, Lubelski began with a damaged, uncut sheet of military badges. Although her stated intent was to highlight its imperfections, Lubelskis careful embroidery opens this already remarkable object to interpretation. The mysterious embellishments could be seen as spatters of blood or national boundaries, transforming a piece of cloth into an observation about the futility of wars and the expendability of those who fight them.
Winthrop University Galleries, Rock Hill, through Jan. 18. www2.winthrop.edu/vpa/galleries/; 803-323-2493.