SAN FRANCISCO, CA: Crown Point Press announces "Jacqueline Humphries," an exhibition of new prints by New York-based painter Humphries. On view December 7 to February 4, it presents ten etchings made predominantly in the aquatint technique, an intaglio process in which Crown Point has exceptional expertise. The ten prints by Humphries are a new body of work that build on her recently developed vocabulary of stenciled grids, emojis, and gestural abstraction. There will be a reception for the artist on Thursday, January 12, from 6-8pm.
Jacqueline Humphries worked in the Crown Point studio earlier this fall to make etchings for the first time. Master Printer Sam Carr-Prindle helped her incorporate custom-made stencils from her studio in New York into copper plates mainly by using a modified sugar lift aquatint technique. In the ": : : : :" print, she pushed a thick sugar paste through the stencil and allowed the paste to squish past the stencil at times, adding an element of gestural abstraction to the formal grid. Humphries made multiple plates using this process and combined them with others to complete the prints. Her layering of plates is similar to her painting process. “It’s almost like I’m breeding paintings more than painting them,” Humphries has said. “The paintings kind of reproduce other paintings.” In one print she made five plates to finish the work.
In October, the Museum of Modern Art in New York acquired the first alphabet of emojis dating to 1999, recognizing the importance of this modern language. Humphries has been working with emojis in her paintings since 2014 and continues to use them in her new etchings. In the "Smiling Cat Emoji" print, she uses a stencil grid of a smiling cat emoji as the dominant backdrop to the print. In the ":) :)" print, she simply layers two emoticons over her abstract marks.
Also on view are etchings by Mary Heilmann, Pat Steir, and Charline von Heyl, three abstract painters who are contemporary peers of Humphries. While these four female artists work within a similar abstract language, they each use different styles and tools to take the medium of painting to its current place in art.
Jacqueline Humphries is an abstract painter who conceptually connects her work to the cultural and social dialogue of today. Born in 1960 to a family of artists in New Orleans, Humphries has lived and worked in New York since the 1980s. She attended the Parsons School of Design, New York, in 1985 and completed the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program, New York, in 1986. Through layering, scraping, and smearing, Humphries focuses on motion and light to create energy that bounces back and forth between her abstract, gestural canvases and the viewer. Her work is in the permanent collections the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and the Tate Modern, London. Humphries participated in the 2014 Whitney Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. She is represented by Greene Naftali Gallery, New York.
Jacqueline Humphries is on display in the Crown Point Gallery at 20 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, December 7, 2016 – February 4, 2017. On view at Crown Point concurrently is "Bruce Conner," an exhibition of photoetchings dating to the 1970s and published by the press. The gallery hours are Monday 10-5 and Tuesday through Saturday 10-6.