LESLIE MUTCHLER & JASON URBAN
From 2014, September 18 to October 16
It is a representation of purpose.
It is a shared workspace.
It is a place of tools, materials, and making.
It is a site of production.
It is where the magic happens..
As artists and collaborators, Leslie Mutchler and Jason Urban are interested in the handmade (or in this case, hand-printed) and the duality of actual and virtual, experience and meta-experience. In an increasingly digitized world, traces of the human hand are often revered as signs of authenticity and reality- even when viewed on a screen. For their exhibition, UNIVERSAL, at Atelier Circulaire, Mutchler and Urban are showing a body of work developed at Artists Image Resource (AIR), Pittsburgh, PA. While in residence at AIR, the pair generated prints and recorded the act of printing, an inherently tactile experience, to be presented as a meta-experience alongside the physical. The creation of three nearly identical prints- a silkscreen, a lithograph, and a woodblock- started an inquiry into the nature of making and the nature of documenting making.
UNIVERSAL is an encounter with the facsimile. Focus shifts here and there to capture glimpses of beauty in the banal, mineralogy, stagecraft, and magic. By modifying and reproducing an image from Herbert Bayer’sChromatic Gate series, commonly reproduced in catalogues in grayscale, the artists are examining the relationship of printed difference and various haptic signatures. Photographs, video, and printed matter serve as documents of the physical experience. While a chunk of raw magnesite, a stack of offset broadsheets, and large-scale images of soft boxes serve as stand-ins for the real, the imagined and the quixotic.
UNIVERSAL is the first large-scale collaborative project by artists Leslie Mutchler and Jason Urban. Both have multiple degrees in printmaking and have been working for several years to make relevant the archaic and dying craft of print. Mutchler’s most recent projects are experiential, WorkLAB Satellites andTrendFACTORY, examine the purpose and functionality of the printed form and the use of handcraft through multi-participatory installations. Urban is co-founder and co-editor of Printeresting.org, a 2011 Creative Capital Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant winning blog, focused on interesting and relevant contemporary printmaking, print, and print-related issues. Urban’s most recent project, Temporary Monument, printed and installed in Doha, Qatar, focuses on the expansiveness of printed matter, text and graphic proliferation.