Hecho en Mazatlán /Made in Mazatlán
a review by Grace Andriola Purpura
Museo de Arte, Mazatlan, MX – December 4, 2009 – January 8, 2010
StoneMetal Press, San Antonio, TX – May 8 – June 19, 2010
Glen Rogers is a strong force in the world of art and architecture. A versatile artist as well as master printmaker and teacher, she is a leader in the development of new art forms. In her quest for artistic expression, she has invited artists, both local and international since 2007, to share in the experience of furthering their own personal expression through printmaking in her studio and workshop in Mazatlán, where she now lives. “Hecho in Mazatlán/Made in Mazatlán”, shows the fruits of her labor and that of her workshop participants. A handsome show, it reveals the work of thirty-eight diverse artists from Mexico, the United States, Canada, Australia and Europe. The work ranges from abstraction to realism and shows a full spectrum of the monotype process.
Though unique as a printing medium, monoprinting has existed since the seventeenth century. Degas, Gauguin, Pissarro, Kandinsky and Picasso have all experimented with it.
Monotype (or monoprint) – often called the “painterly print” – is a one-of-a-kind print made by applying ink to an acrylic or metal plate. The plate is then run through an etching press with a damp sheet of paper, transferring the image to paper. Monotype has a spontaneity and freedom that other print processes, such as lithography or etching, do not. You can work in any style – from detailed, traditional styles to looser abstractions, incorporating photography, collage, text, to fine line work. Artists use everything from brushes, fingers, rags, hand-rollers, and stencils to achieve a multitude of textures and looks.
I met Glen Rogers many years ago in San Jose when we were both connected with the San Jose Art League Gallery. Later, when I became Arts Commissioner of the City of San Jose, I had the opportunity to work with Glen Rogers in several public works. I have followed her career throughout the years. Glen has been awarded many commemorative public art commissions. She is fearless in experimenting with new forms. In her projects with architects in building new public schools in California, she enlisted the assistance of young students in her plans, both for input and for execution of the work. She has made public art in the California cities of San Jose, Campbell, Stockton, Richmond and Chico. It has been a privilege to watch her grow as an artist and see her career blossom as she takes on new projects in architecture, printmaking, sculpture, and public art.
Glen is courageous and energetic. She is a leader in championing the print movement in monotypes. Her print in the Hecho en Mazatlán exhibition, called Heaven and Earth makes a strong impact. She uses a limited color palette. Her work is outstanding for its abstract simplicity and bold, graphic imagery derivative of prehistoric forms and petroglyphs.
Some of the artists in the show are new to the art of monoprinting. Trevor Bennett, formerly of Australia, is a photo-realist painter, new to the process of printmaking. His small, but powerful print is very expressive, allowing for a new found freedom in his work. Helen MacKinlay, of Pebble Beach, CA, also a beginner at printmaking, is a fine photographer in her own right.
Outstanding in the exhibition, is the work of Katherine Levin-Lau of San Jose, CA who worked on her print for four days in Glen’s studio. Katherine exhibits a very fine sensibility and great draughtsmanship in her larger than life, realistic rendering of birds, one yellow, one black, and in her enormous red tulips. From Oslo, Norway, Sissel Gyta exhibits a large, lyrical and inspired piece called Hanging Garden I. Its soaring movement of growth and its palette of soft hues transports the viewer into meditative realms.
My own piece in the exhibit, La Diosa, Reyna de los Angeles, was inspired by my visit to the Cathedral of Mazatlan, where I sat transfixed, looking at the lace filigree carved from stone, while being transported by the sound of heavenly music coming from the choir. In the execution of my work, I experimented with the surface embossing of my print. I added texture by using cutout pieces of plastic lace, which I placed on top of the painted plate. When pulled through the press, a raised, embossed impression was left on the wet paper, together with its ink impression.
With Glen Rogers’ masterful expertise at the press, I was able to pull more than ten images from my three days’ stay at her workshop. Several of these prints that were made in Mazatlán have been accepted into juried shows, and are also on exhibit currently in California Museums and galleries.
With much thanks to Glen Rogers for her inspiration, and her artistic and organizational skills, and to the Museo de Mazatlán for the opportunities given for artistic and cultural exchange, I look forward to my next Mazatlán visit.
Grace Andriola Purpura
Artist and former Arts Commissioner of the
City of San Jose, CA
December 10, 2009
More images of the show can be viewed here.