Horsemen charge a burning horizon. Voodoo figures peer through clouded windows. A couple drifts demurely to earth, tethered to a single parachute.
Since 1997, Dennis O’Neil’s Hand Print Workshop International in Alexandria, Va., has collaborated with artists from around the world while helping to expand the limits of screen print technology.
On Thursday, Oct. 5, the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis will present “Process & Innovation: 20 Years of Partnerships in Print at Hand Print Workshop International.” The exhibition will feature 42 artworks by 24 artists, including 10 artists from Russia and the former Soviet Union.
Though screenprints are often associated with a crisp, graphic style, Hand Print Workshop has helped pioneer a looser, more painterly aesthetic. Renée Stout’s “REV. Zombie’s Window” (2011) combines photography, collage and screenprinting with wax, paint and glass beads to depict the famous New Orleans storefront. Y. David Chung’s “Night Riders” (2011) employs thick, gestural lines to reflect the North Korea of Kim Il-sung, whose regime his parents fled in the early 1950s.
O’Neil’s collaborations with Russian artists date back to 1990, when he launched the Moscow Studio in a building owned by the Russian Academy of Art. “Process & Innovation” will include “Worker and Farmer” (1998) by Yuri Avvakumov, a founder of the “Paper Architecture” movement, who pays sardonic homage to an iconic social realist monument. Other works include Alexander Djikia’s gently ironic “Expulsion from the Garden of Eden” (2006) and Vera Khlebnikova’s “2,000 Stamps” (1999), which centers on a family archive of canceled stamps celebrating the Romanov dynasty.
“It is serendipitous that the ‘Process & Innovation’ is opening at a time of heightened focus on the tenuous relationship between the United States and Russia,” said Carmon Colangelo, the Ralph J. Nagel Dean of the Sam Fox School as well as the E. Desmond Lee Professor for Collaboration in the Arts.
“We are in a precarious moment, grappling with issues of hacking, fake news and corrosive political discourse across the United States,” Colangelo said. “This is a time of international uncertainty, and I believe artists will play an increasingly critical role in reminding us all of our need for civility, tolerance, inclusion and a shared sense of humanity.”
About the Des Lee Gallery
Located in the heart of St. Louis’ historic Washington Avenue Loft District, the Des Lee Gallery has earned a national reputation for showing work by local and internationally known contemporary artists, as well as by Sam Fox School students and faculty. It is named in honor of St. Louis philanthropist E. Desmond Lee, a 1940 Washington University graduate who donated more than $50 million to local institutions and charitable causes.
“Process & Innovation” will open with a reception from 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 5. O’Neil and Colangelo will present brief remarks at 6:30 p.m. The exhibition will remain on view through Nov. 11.
The Des Lee Gallery is located at 1627 Washington Ave., within the University Lofts arts incubator. Regular hours are 1 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, and by appointment. For more information, call 314-621-8735, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit desleegallery.com.