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Final Southampton Arts Center Exhibitions Of The Season To Boast Over 150 Works

Nicole Barylski

Eric Fischl's Blouse, 12 x 10, Solarplate, 1992. (Courtesy Photo)

Southampton Arts Center (SAC) will wrap up its 2019 exhibition season by showcasing a duo of highly anticipated shows, Solar Impressions Juried Exhibition and International Masters / Collaborations in Printmaking. Both exhibitions, which will be presented simultaneously, revolve around printmaking. More specifically, Solarplates, an innovative printing technique that was developed by Sag Harbor artist and master printmaker Dan Welden.

"Solar Impressions and International Masters is perhaps the largest and most significant printmaking adventure to ever happen on Long Island," Welden shared. "Sponsored by Inspiration Plus and the Southampton Arts Center, 133 works were chosen from over 700 entries from 11 countries. The exhibition is a blockbuster!"

Melissa Chase's Baby Love Baby, 11'75 x 8'75, Solarplate. (Courtesy Photo)

Solar Impressions encompasses pieces created with Solarplates, a light sensitized steel backed polymer material that is an easier, safer, and quicker approach than conventional etching and relief printing methods. While other printing techniques can be hazardous, as they rely on acids or solvents, Solar Impressions works were processed with sunlight (or UV light) and normal tap water. The exhibition attracted applicants from across the globe, including artists from the United States, Ireland, Israel, England, Denmark, Australia, New Zealand, Peru, Canada, Spain, and France.

Laura G. Einstein, manager of the Mezzanine Gallery at the Metropolitan Museum of Art; Alex Ferrone, owner/director of the Alex Ferrone Gallery in Cutchogue, NY; and Ron Pokrasso, Santa Fe artist and world printmaking traveler; served as the exhibition's esteemed jury. Renowned international artist and longtime Welden collaborator, Eric Fischl, the Solar Impressions Awards Juror, selected top honors and artists will be commemorated on opening night.

"Awards juror Eric Fischl selected 40 prizes from a diverse body of artistic styles where all the artists used the power of the sun as its magical ingredient for their creativity," Welden noted.

In 1971, Welden founded Hampton Editions, Ltd., a studio that specialized in 'Stone Lithography' publishing and printing, which began as a subsidiary of Welden Graphics. The alternative printmaking pioneer, who has been making prints and works on paper for more than 50 years, has always been fond of collaborating with close friends, including Richard Vaux, Don Eckelberry, Guy Cohleach and Roy Nicholson. Hampton Editions, Ltd.'s first major collaborative publishing venture, with Southampton Hospital, was published in 1982. It featured Robert Dash, Esteban Viscente, Jimmy Ernst, Syd Solomon, Elaine and Willem de Kooning, Paul Davis, Bob Gwathmey, Dan Flavin and James Brooks. During the 90's, Hampton Editions, Ltd. worked with artists such as Eric Fischl, David Salle, Lynda Benglis and many others.

He co-authored, with Pauline Muir, Printmaking in the Sun (2001), a comprehensive guide of Solarplate methods. Welden's masterpieces have been exhibited in nearly 100 international solo exhibitions, as well as more than 700 group exhibitions in the U.S., Europe, China, Japan, Switzerland, Australia, New Zealand and Peru. His pieces can also be found in collections across the country, including the Art Museum of Greater Lafayette, Indiana; Baltimore Museum of Art, MD; Portland Museum of Art, OR; and Temple University, Philadelphia, PA.

International Masters shines a spotlight on the impressive array of artists that Welden has teamed up with throughout the years.

Roy Nicholson's Toxic Garden (Sweet Pea) 7, Solarplate, 2013. (Courtesy Photo)

"Equally and historically impressive are the 22 selected International Masters who collaborated personally with me over a 40 year time span." Welden said. "Using Stone Lithography and Solarplate etching, the artists, including Willem de Kooning, Kiki Smith, Roy Nicholson and Dan Flavin created through chemistry and physics with lithographic stones and etched plates for their original works of art."

International Masters will boast Welden collaborations with Willem de Kooning, Elaine de Kooning, Kiki Smith, Esteban Vicente, Dan Flavin, James Brooks, Eric Fischl, Robert Gwathmey, Paul Davis, Syd Solomon, Roy Nicholson, Jack Youngerman, Robert Dash, Louisa Chase, David Salle, Alfonso Ossorio, Ibram Lassaw, Lynda Benglis, Bill King, Jane Freilicher, Jimmy Ernst, Kurt Vonnegut.

Both Solar Impressions Juried Exhibition and International Masters / Collaborations in Printmaking can be seen Saturday, November 16 through Sunday, December 29.

Additionally, Fischl and Welden joined forces for a special Solarplate edition that will support Southampton Arts Center and Inspiration Plus. Only 20 impressions will be available to purchase, with the first five impressions available solely to SAC Members at a special rate of $1,500. The remaining 15 will be sold for $1,750.

Ellen Peckham's Ce Change, 2019, 23.5 x 18.5, Solarplate. (Courtesy Photo)

There will also be a special silent art auction, with more than 30 additional works by Solar Impressions artists. It will commence on Saturday, November 16 at 5 p.m. and conclude on Sunday, December 1 at 5 p.m.

"Sponsored by Inspiration Plus, a non profit arts and science organization, and the Southampton Arts Center, this exhibition is most elegant, stimulating and educational that elevates the Art of the Print," Welden concluded.

SAC will host several events in conjunction with the exhibitions. On Saturday, November 16, there will be An Open Portfolio Session with Exhibiting Artists from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m., Print Press Demonstration and Gallery Tour with Master Printmakers Dan Welden and Ron Pokrasso at 3 p.m., the Opening Night Solar Impressions Juror's panel discussion with Alex Ferrone, Laura G. Einstein and Ron Pokrasso at 5 p.m., and a Public Opening Reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Understanding Printmaking - How Prints Are Made, An Art Collectors/Appreciators Guide will be held on Sunday, November 17 at 4 p.m. A Solar Plate Workshop for All Ages with Dan Welden will take place on Sunday, December 8 at 3 p.m., while a Solar Plate Workshop for Veterans with Dan Welden will be held on Thursday, December 12 at 6 p.m. The Closing Day Gallery Tour & Champagne Toast will be presented on Sunday, December 29 at 12:30 p.m.

Southampton Arts Center is located at 25 Jobs Lane in Southampton. For more information, call 631-283-0967 or visit southamptonartscenter.org.

Nicole is the Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons.com where she focuses on lifestyle, nightlife, and mixology. She grew up in the Hamptons and currently resides in Water Mill. www.hamptons.com NicoleBarylski NicoleBarylski

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