“Artists of Manneken Press”
Contemporary Art Center of Peoria
Exhibition dates: February 24 – April 18, 2023
Gallery hours: Tuesday – Saturday 11 am – 5 pm
*RESCHEDULED* Gallery talk by Jonathan Higgins: Friday, April 7th, 6:30 pm
Public reception: Saturday, March 18, 6:30 – 8:30 pm
The exhibition and reception are free and open to the public.
“Artists of Manneken Press” is an opportunity to see recent works by top artists from one of the nation’s premier print publishers.
“Artists of Manneken Press” includes works by 18 contemporary artists from across the United States and beyond, including several from nearby Bloomington, IL, and from as far as Chicago, New York, Colombia and Spain. This exhibition builds on a previous show at the Contemporary Art Center of Peoria of works made from 2000 – 2011, and extends the continuum with a focus on prints from 2012 to the present.
The artists included in the exhibition are Carlos Andrade, Mel Cook, Brian Cypher, Jack Davidson, Rupert Deese, Jonathan Higgins, Catherine Howe, Richard Hull, Mary Judge, Gary Justis, Anna Kunz, Judy Ledgerwood, Matt Magee, Jill Moser, Kate Petley, Sarah Smelser, Philip Van Keuren and Brenda Zappitell.
above: Carlos Andrade: “Untitled IV”, 2022. Monotype, 35″ x 29″.
Artists Of Manneken Press includes only original works; autographic prints which were specifically intended for the print medium. They are distinguished from digital or reproductive prints which are copies of works of art made in another medium (giclée prints). Autographic prints can be limited editions (multiple originals) or unique prints (monotypes or monoprints).
Artists from Rembrandt and Goya to Robert Rauschenberg and Kiki Smith have made printmaking an important aspect of their creative practice. Contemporary painters and sculptors often opt to work with an experienced practitioner, like Manneken Press, who possesses the skills, equipment and sensitivity necessary to help realize the artist’s vision. Such is the case with painters Judy Ledgerwood and Richard Hull, and sculptor Gary Justis. Other artists, such as Sarah Smelser use printmaking as their primary medium of expression. The persistent interest in printmaking across centuries underscores the medium’s vitality and it’s importance in contemporary and historical contexts. Artists Of Manneken Press exemplifies varying ways that contemporary artists manifest their ideas in print. Several fine art printmaking techniques are utilized throughout the exhibition: etching, aquatint, woodcut, collagraph, photogravure, monoprint and monotype. Photogravure, a 19th C. method of photographic reproduction, a hybrid of photographic and printmaking techniques that is rarely practiced today, is highlighted in the prints of Philip Van Keuren and Kate Petley.
above: Philip Van Keuren: “Snowstorm”, 2016. Photogravure, 14″ x 18″, edition of 12.
Manneken Press, located in Bloomington, IL, is a fine art press that publishes original, limited edition and unique prints, portfolios and artist’s books by significant contemporary artists. Manneken Press was founded in 2000 by owner/operators Jonathan Higgins and Sarah Smelser and has established a reputation as one of the premier fine art presses in the nation. The press represents the work of more than 30 artists. Its inventory consists primarily of prints augmented by drawing, sculpture and photography in order to show the full scope the the artists’ oeuvres. The artists are invited to Manneken Press to work in close collaboration with master printer Jonathan Higgins on their projects, which are hand-printed on an etching press, using traditional, time tested techniques and materials. Manneken Press regularly participates in fine art fairs around the United States, including those in Baltimore, Berkeley, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Houston, Miami, New York City and Palm Springs. Prints from Manneken Press have been exhibited in many galleries and museums, including the Museum of Modern Art, NYC, and have been reviewed in publications such as Art In Print, Art In America, Grabado Y Edición, ARTnews, and Art On Paper.
The Contemporary Art Center of Peoria is the Peoria’s cultural hub. CACP inhabits a beautiful brick building on Peoria’s historic River Front, hosting exhibitions in its three galleries, presenting music, dance and poetry events, and housing 15 working artist’s studios.
above: master printer Jonathan Higgins pulls a monotype by Richard Hull from the press.