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ExhibitionMonotypesSarah SmelserWorks on paper

Exhibition: “Infinite Guile: Sarah Smelser’s New Monotypes”

By February 20, 2024No Comments
Sarah Smelser: "Infinite Guile II", 2023. Monotype, 22" x 25

“Infinite Guile”


an exhibition of new monotypes by Sarah Smelser

this online exhibition can be viewed at Artsy

Exhibition dates: February 12 – May 31, 2024

“Infinite Guile” is an exhibition of unique monotypes by Sarah Smelser, created in 2023 during three weeks spent at SkopArt, an artist residency located on the Greek island of Skopelos. Several prints from this series were exhibited recently at the IFPDA Print Fair in New York City, and they are the subject of an exhibition now viewable on Artsy.

Sarah Smelser: "Infinite Guile XXV", 2023. Monotype, 26" x 22"
Sarah Smelser: "Infinite Guile XV", 2023. Monotype, 26" x 22"

above: (l) “Infinite Guile XXV”, 2023. 26″ x 22″; (r) “Infinite Guile XV”, 2023. 26″ x 22″. Monotypes with chine collé.

Be here now

Attention to the situational aspects of being in a particular physical space is a concept that has occupied much of Smelser’s recent work, and to this end she seeks out impactful landscapes. A daily ritual of walking becomes a way of experiencing the various qualities of light, smells, sounds and rhythms of a place; the unpacking of these sensory perceptions into visual form are the basis of Smelser’s work. On Skopelos, panoramic views of the sky and the Aegean punctuated by other small islands dominate, and during her plantigrade perambulations Smelser noticed in the synthesis of that vastness The False Horizon Illusion, the loss of one’s ability to discern land from sky.

Sarah Smelser: "Infinite Guile XXIV", 2023. Monotype, 26" x 22"

above: “Infinite Guile XXIV”, 2023. Monotype with chine collé, 22″ x 25″.

At times the sky, land, and sea declared themselves emphatically, while at others the transitions between them were indiscernible. Like a word stated over and over, they each seemed to lose their distinguishing characteristics: the air is the water is the earth… the earth is the water is the air. Their vastness, uniformity, and distance put them on equal visual footing; their varied meanings and associations blurred into one faraway spectacle.

Sarah Smelser

Smelser brings to the monotype medium a drawer’s rather than painter’s approach, and the affinity to drawing is immediately apparent. Smelser’s use of the technique of trace monotype produces lines that, though printed, appear drawn, and her manner of image making is detailed and meticulous. In these abstract compositions, transparent veils of color delineate larger spaces and linear marks overlay them. The drawn patterns, webs and accretions create additional forms. The lines are made in various colors and sometimes appear as negative marks within a color field. The artist’s works are modest in scale, and an obvious love of materials comes through in her use of Asian and Western papers. There is an overall sensuous appeal in her oeuvre.

T he fourteen  prints in the exhibition are unique monotypes printed on kozo paper mounted to Folio white paper. Purchases can be made directly through Artsy’s secure portal. Additional information is available on request from Manneken Press.

Sarah Smelser: "Infinite Guile VII", 2023. Monotype, 26" x 22"

above: “Infinite Guile VII”, 2023.

Infinite Guile: Sarah Smelser’s New Monotypes can be viewed online on Artsy now through May 31, 2024.

Contact Manneken Press for additional information or to inquire about purchasing any of the works in the exhibition.

View more of Sarah’s works here.

About the artist

Sarah Smelser has exhibited widely, including solo exhibitions at Bridgewater/Lustberg & Blumenfeld, and Kathryn Markel Fine Arts in New York. Her work is included in the collections of the Library of Congress, Ballinglen Museum of Contemporary Art, JP Morgan Chase Art Collection, Reader’s Digest Association, The Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Antwerp; New York Public Library, and the Zimmerli Museum at Rutgers University.

Sarah Smelser received a BA in Art from the University of California at Santa Cruz, an MA in Printmaking and an MFA in Photography from the University of Iowa.

Sarah is Professor of Art in the Wonsook Kim School of Art at Illinois State University, Normal, IL

Sarah new headshot

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