Gemini G.E.L. at Joni Moisant Weyl is pleased to present our first exhibition with Analia Saban. Analia Saban is Broken will be on view from October 27 through December 3, 2016, and will feature three different bodies of work — one series of etchings and two unique approaches to monotyping.
Saban’s dynamic and compelling investigation of materials tests the limits of painting, sculpture, and printmaking in new and enterprising ways. In the summer of 2015, Saban approached her collaboration with the Gemini G.E.L. workshop by exploring a broad range of the workshop’s presses and printmaking techniques. As a result, one body of work is a series of five large, colorful etchings in which she takes ordinary objects as her inspiration, deconstructing and examining their various internal parts. Another body of work digs into the process of printmaking by challenging the physical properties of ink on paper, exploring the line between the handmade and the machine-made. And a third is an intimate monotype, deceptively simple in its approach.
The Mechanical Drawings (One-Continuous Line) etchings investigate the various internal parts of domestic objects including a blender, electric toothbrush, pocket watch, combo television unit, and recliner chair. Each image was made using an industrial laser cutter that the artist rigged to draw, rather than burn or cut. By taking advantage of the machine’s limitation of composing in an uninterrupted stroke, the fragments, although scattered throughout the page, are ultimately connected and formed by one continuous line. Working with Master Printer Case Hudson, Saban’s drawings were transferred to copper plates with a robust, deeply bitten aquatint that when printed produced a powerfully embossed line saturated in color.
The Broken Vase series was spurred both by Saban’s time as an Artist in Residence at the Getty Research Institute as well as her captivation with the machinery used to make prints at Gemini G.E.L. Each impression was made by filling one of five different stencils, made in the shape of Greek urns, with a clear acrylic medium applied directly onto paper. The medium was allowed to partially dry, and the entire sheet was then inserted into a hydraulic press originally designed for blind embossing. Inside the press, under the vertical pressure, the paper was crushed against the thick outline of the vase, producing varying forms of cracks, bubbles, and buckling. The resulting sculptural effect is entirely unpredictable and therefore vastly different from impression to impression.
And finally, there is a small monotype titled Fingerprint, which is simple and humorous. For the conception of this piece, Saban disrupted the uniform surface of an inked copper plate with the touch of her fingertip before the plate was printed on a sheet of pristine white paper. Once pulled from the press, Saban made a corresponding mark in the margin of the print with the same inked finger. In true collaborative spirit, after Saban signed the RTP, printer Kenny Srivijittakar carried out the editioning, acting as a fingerprint proxy. The work is a play on the definition of a print, as well as the formalities of traditional printmaking and what constitutes the signature of the artist.