A tradition from the Surrealists continues in a recent exhibition with the Los Angeles Printmaking Society
The Surrealists adapted a parlor game into a poetic way to create relationships using either images or texts, that might reveal the metaphysical and upend the rational. Key to the game was using creativity and chance to create something collaboratively and something new!
Known as “Exquisite Corpse” since the 1920’s, when passing a folded piece of paper created the sentence; “the exquisite corpse drinks the new wine”. Exquisite Corpse is now a regular practice of visual artists to work together creatively. There are many examples online. Each artist creates a body in three parts, then they are mixed up with the sections made by other artists. No one knows how the sections will be mixed together until the end.
Certainly artists are happy to be able work together and to have in-person events once again. Since 2020 was surely a cursed year for most of the planet, we are very happy that things are somewhat better in 2021.
Without going into all the issues in the world, I am sharing some photos of a recent exhibit from a group collaboration with the Los Angeles Printmaking Society which took place at the International Printmaking Museum in Carson, CA.
Head section of “Why is she holding a fish?”, Kathleen Thoma, monotype
I am also showing my own process in creating my own contribution to this show. I start with showing my drawing in pencil. Then my drawing on a plate using Caran D’Ache neocolor wax crayons for the press.
Image of process in creating “Why is she holding a fish?”, Exquisite Corpse with Los Angeles Printmaking Society
I created three monotypes for the color base image. Then the plate with the crayon image was placed on top of the monotypes, and run though the press using slighly damp paper. This step is a bit tricky, because if the paper is too damp, then the paper can tear under the pressure of the press. I’ve done this technique before, and I believe that it works better in a more humid climate (such as in New England) than in a near dessert climate where I now live, in here in Southern California. But I did manage to make it work.
Why is she holding a fish?, Kathleen Thoma, monotype, 45×15 in, Exquisite Corpse collaborative
Our collaborative Exquisite Corpse was shown in two parts this summer and fall, There were two installments of this exhibition from LA Printmaking artist members:
View of Exquisite Corpse collaborative exhibition at International Printing Museum in Carson, CA
First installation: August 5th to September 1st.
Second Installation: September 3rd to September 30th.
Artists in the first installation (August 5th to September 30th):
Mary Sherwood Brock, John Edwards, Christina Yasmin Fesmire, Karen Fiorito, Jani Hoberg, Poli Marichal, Gail D Panske, Marianne Sadowski, Katherine Sheehan, Barbara Belle Sloan, Annie Silverman, Kathleen Thoma, Cathy Weiss.
With special guests from the Lynck Collective;
Christina Yasmin Fesmire, Bill Jaros and Nguyen Ly.
Artists in the Second Installation (Sept 3rd to 30th):
Mary Sherwood Brock, Marianne Sadowski, Katherine Sheehan, Amaryllis Siniossoglou and Silvia Simmons.