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“Nevertheless, She Persisted” on Artsy

By | Exhibition | No Comments

To mark Women’s History Month, Manneken Press will present Nevertheless She Persisted”, an online exhibition on our Artsy site. Opening March 8, 2018, International Women’s Day, the exhibition celebrates the amazing talents of fourteen female artists, and expresses our hope for the ultimate goal of equality among all artists, and among all peoples in all walks of life.

The artists included in the exhibition are:
Camille Billops, Mel Cook, LJ Douglas, Rhea Edge, Betty Friedman, Mary Judge, Judy Ledgerwood, Claire Lieberman, Jane McNichol, Kate Petley, Alison Saar, Sarah Smelser, Joan Winter, and Brenda Zappitell.

Thematically, the show is varied, with pieces ranging from the political to the purely abstract. Some of the notable pieces in the exhibition:

Man/Club, a 1993 lithograph, woodcut and etching, in which Alison Saar combines the form of a male figure and a wooden club. The print is in two layers: the figure has a hole cut out of it’s stomach through which the fetish objects printed on the paper below it can be viewed. This print was published by Vinalhaven Press.

The KKK Boutique Ain’t Just Rednecks is a color etching by Camille Billops made in 1993. It takes its title from the film of the same name, made by the artist and her husband, which explores the intricacies of racism in America. It was published by the artist and produced at the Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop in New York City. Man/Club and The KKK Boutique Ain’t Just Rednecks are printer’s proofs from the personal collection of Jonathan Higgins, the proprietor and master printer of Manneken Press.

Chromatic Patterns After the Graham Foundation – Pink, is one of three prints by Judy Ledgerwood, which directly relate to her site-specific installation/wall painting made for Chicago’s Graham Foundation in 2014. The prints riff on the metallic silver and fluorescent color/pattern scheme of the installation, executed here in woodcut and lithography with aluminum dust.

Still Life With Irises, by Chicago artist Mel Cook, combines the genres of still life and portraiture. Her monotype depicts a girl lost in thought with a cat and flowers floating through the composition. Collaged fabric and printed paper elements, and hand coloring complete the print.

Joan Winter used cropped photographs of her carved acrylic maquettes for Counterpoint, a suite of three photogravures.

All works in the exhibition are for sale. For additional information contact Manneken Press. Click here to view the entire exhibition.





Manneken Press Peter Feldstein photogravure

Peter Feldstein, 1942 – 2017

By | Peter Feldstein | No Comments

We were saddened to hear of the death, on December 1 2017, of Peter Feldstein, a photographer, who was a teacher and mentor to many over his long career, and a friend to Sarah Smelser and Jonathan Higgins  of Manneken Press.

Peter taught for many years at the University of Iowa. He was best known for a photographic project he began in 1984, capturing the portraits and words of all of the inhabitants of Oxford, the small town where he lived outside of Iowa City. In 2004 he photographed the remaining people once again, juxtaposing their likenesses and reflections on their lives, twenty years removed. The Oxford Project became a traveling exhibition and a book with author Stephen Bloom, published by Welcome Books in 2008. As both a work of art and a document of rural life, it garnered a lot of attention, with many interviews and notices including The New York Times; and  NPR.

Parallel to The Oxford Project was Peter’s “real” work; the pursuit of an abstract sensibility in photography. His interests included cliche´ verre, a hybrid of drawing and photography, for which he would create non-photographic negatives. Jonathan worked with Peter on a series of photogravure prints in 1998. The tiny hand-drawn negatives used as the source for the images rendered frenetic gestures and intriguing textures in the finished prints, which can be viewed here. His interests eventually turned toward exploration of the digital technology which was rapidly redefining the field of photography. As an artist Peter was fully engaged, and he left behind a huge and varied body of work. He was also a sweet and caring man who will be greatly missed.

Peter can be viewed in this YouTube video speaking about his “Iowa Portraits”, a major photographic commission at the University of Iowa.


Manneken Press, Jonathan Higgins, Sarah Smelser, The Box Gallery

Exhibition: Sarah Smelser and Jonathan Higgins at Knox College

By | Exhibition, Jonathan Higgins, Sarah Smelser | No Comments

I’ll Be Your Mirror: Recent Work by Sarah Smelser and Jonathan Higgins, an exhibition of monotypes by Smelser and metalpoint drawings by Higgins, will be on view at The Box Gallery, Galesburg, IL February 8 – March 9, 2018.

Utilizing transparent veils of color and thin Asian papers, Sarah Smelser creates prints with an abstract sensibility that are informed by drawing and that reference cartography, the body, cycles in nature, and mundane objects.

In his metalpoint drawings, Jonathan Higgins uses simple forms, line, repetition, pattern, fields of texture and tone, allowing the materials and process of drawing to become part of the subject of the work, while bringing a contemporary sensibility to a Renaissance drawing technique.

An artist’s talk will take place on Thursday, February 8th at 4:15 pm at the Whitcomb Art Center at Knox College, followed by a reception at the gallery.

The Box Gallery | 308 E Simmons Street, Galesburg, IL. Gallery hours: Tuesday-Saturday 1-6.


Sarah Smelser, Manneken Press

“Inland Art: Sarah Smelser” by Paul Krainak

By | Sarah Smelser | No Comments

Critic and artist Paul Krainak has written an insightful article on the work of Sarah Smelser, published this week in The Community Word.

Link to the article here.
Pictured above: Sarah Smelser: To Lay Out (Kala), 2017. Monotype, 20″ x 16″.

For more than twenty years, working primarily in the medium of monotype, Sarah Smelser has produced abstract works which have been exhibited widely. She the co-founder of Manneken Press and Professor of Art at Illinois State University in Normal, IL. Smelser’s work can be viewed on the Manneken Press website and on Artsy.

Paul Krainak founded the Inland Visual Studies Center at Bradley University with the goal of “drawing attention to the significance of Illinois and the Midwest as a critical hub of American art that has been under-identified in the broader art culture”. His monthly columns for The Community Word focus on Midwestern artists, artworks and subjects evaluated from the context of Midwestern visual narratives. His arguments are comparative and show that current Midwestern art is vivid, intelligent and progressive, and he highlight ways that the day-to-day experience of living and working in Illinois influences the meaning of our visual culture.

Gary Justis and Claire Lieberman at Esthetic Lens Magazine

By | Claire Lieberman, Gary Justis | No Comments

The art blog Esthetic Lens has published two recent pieces on artists represented by Manneken Press.

Mechanical & Luminous: the Artwork of Gary Justis, focuses on the artist’s recent work in sculpture, installation and photography. The post contains images and videos of Justis’ works, many of which are kinetic, and incorporate light projections and/or sound. Succinct statements by the artist complement the images. Many of the works in the post can be seen in Gary Justis, an exhibition on view at the Contemporary Art Center of Peoria (IL) through February 23rd. Additional monoprints and photographs by Gary Justis can be viewed here.

Playful Seriousness: the Artwork of Claire Lieberman covers works from Lieberman’s recent exhibition at Massey Lyuben Gallery in NYC: stunning, minimal,highly polished objects carved from black marble, and several relief prints produced at Manneken Press.


Manneken Press Jane McNichol monotype

Exhibition: “Painterly Prints” at Artsy

By | Brenda Zappitell, Exhibition, Jane McNichol, Jonathan Higgins, Judy Ledgerwood, Monotypes | No Comments

Painterly Prints: Monotypes by Jonathan Higgins, Judy Ledgerwood, Jane McNichol and Brenda Zappitell

We are pleased to announce our newest online exhibition at Artsy. This selection of monotypes by four artists exemplifies the painterly approach to the unique print medium.

Monotype is the most direct way for an artist to make prints, free from the technical considerations of etching, lithography or relief. Though some artists prize monotype in its most basic form, as a “printed painting”, other impose a high level of control. This exhibition brings together works by four artists whose varied approaches to monotype mine the painterly veins of this unique print medium. A subsequent exhibition will showcase artists whose manner with monotype is one of controlled outcomes and drawing based approaches.

Jonathan Higgins balances chaos and control in the “Flow Chart” series, which combine the rigidity of patterned geometry with the sensuousness of aqueous media. The artist’s interest in order, balance, symmetry and chance are evident in these prints.

Judy Ledgerwood’s 2005 painting “Is This An Audience Or…” served as an inspiration for her untitled monotypes, created at Manneken Press in 2014. Riffing on the colors, patterns and marks of the painting, Ledgerwood approached monotype as a “printed painting”, exploiting unique aspects such as the “ghost” image to create a series of unique but related prints.

Jane McNichol’s monotypes can almost be read as abstractions. Employing ink rollers, paintbrushes and a variety of scrapers, the tropes of landscape and still life were points of departure for the artist to explore the materials and processes of the monotype medium.

Exuberant colors and vigorous brushwork typify Brenda Zappitell’s monotypes, created in 2017. Automatism and the concept of Mindfulness, or awareness of being in the present moment, are vital to Zappitell ‘s image making, and her prints dazzle in their boldness.

All of the prints in the exhibition were created by the artists at Manneken Press, and are available for purchase.

Brenda Zappitell, Manneken Press, monotype

Brenda Zappitell’s monotypes featured at SCOPE Miami Beach

By | Art Fair, Brenda Zappitell, Monotypes | No Comments

Brenda Zappitell‘s “Bloom” monotypes, published by Manneken Press, are among the works featured by  Whitewall Contemporary in their booth at SCOPE Miami Beach this week.

Whitewall Contemporary showcases their all-female roster of artists, with painted aluminum sculptures by Jane Manus, fabric wall works by Jen Pack, and additional paintings by Brenda Zappitell, in the first art fair outing for this new Delray Beach, FL-based gallery, in booth C09.

During her visit to Manneken Press in February 2017, Brenda Zappitell created twenty seven monotypes. This was the first foray into printmaking for Zappitell, a painter known for her use of exuberant colors and vigorous brushwork. Synthesizing her observations of nature, the concept of Mindfulness or awareness of being in the present moment, and life experiences with aspects of automatism and action painting, Zappitell forms a hybrid abstraction for the 21st Century. The entire series of monotypes can be viewed at Manneken Press or on our Artsy page.

SCOPE Miami Beach | December 5-10 at the SCOPE Miami Beach Pavilion, 801 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach, FL


Heads On Horizon, Gary Justis, Ramp-Arts, Manneken Press

Exhibition: “Heads On Horizon: Sculpture and Images by Gary Justis” at Ramp-Arts Gallery

By | Exhibition, Gary Justis | No Comments

Manneken Press artist Gary Justis‘ exhibition “Heads On Horizon” opened last weekend at Ramp-Arts Gallery in Bloomington. The show includes sculpture, digital prints and videos.

The gallery’s main room contains two kinetic sculpture/installations, Pond and Heads On Horizon, quintessential Justis works, which use mechanics, projected light and sound to distill childhood memories into mesmerizing and poetic visual experiences. The room also includes several of the artist’s videos which loop on an installed monitor. The video’s soundtrack and the mechanical cacophony of the sculptures combine to create a hypnotic effect.

Three large digital prints, PhilsenRosetta, and Degge and Mate, hang in the front room of the gallery. These archival pigment prints – portrait-like still images of light projections – capture fleeting presences of otherworldly figures which possess “an unknowable consciousness, an inter-dimensional presence that momentarily disrupts the viewer’s casual expectations with a familiar incompleteness, something we naturally associate with human and/or metaphysical subjects”.

Gary Justis can be heard in conversation with Laura Kennedy of WGLT as they walk through the exhibition. In this illuminating interview, the artist shares insights, the stories behind the works and how they are made. Access the interview at

Chandelier monoprints and archival pigment prints by Gary Justis, published by Manneken Press, can be viewed at

“Heads on Horizon: Sculpture and Images by Gary Justis”, November 3-26

Ramp-Arts Gallery | 300 E Grove Street, Bloomington, IL Hours: Saturdays, 10am-2pm. By appointment:

Ted Kincaid, Nocturnal Landscape, Manneken Press, photograph

New work by Ted Kincaid

By | Ted Kincaid | No Comments

Pictured above: Nocturnal Landscape 810, 2015. Archival pigment print on Hahnemühle rice paper mounted to Stonehenge paper. 22 x 18 inches, edition of 3.

Archival pigment prints from Ted Kincaid’s Early Morning and Nocturnal Landscapes series are now available from Manneken Press.

Over the course of two decades, Ted Kincaid has systematically subverted the notion of an objective photographic record. As his art continues to explore the play between photography and various media, Kincaid is one of several artists creating a new painting informed by photo-imagery and a new photography influenced by painting. The artist has explored this conceptual discourse through multiple series of work, deftly riding the line between the construction of totally manufactured images that bear the aesthetic of seemingly straightforward photographic images and actual photographs that buzz with vibrant palettes almost too fantastic to be considered plausible. The Early Morning and Nocturnal Landscapes series represent the current work by this prolific artist, and they can be viewed here.

Kincaid has also had an ongoing dialogue with printmaking, collaborating with Manneken Press on several different limited edition projects in traditional print media over the past sixteen years. All of Ted Kincaid’s inventory can be viewed here.

Contact Manneken Press for current pricing/availability.