Screen printing was once viewed as an innovative way to reproduce messages (think French advertising posters for products such as absinthe, or late night cabarets), and has long been affiliated with liqueurs, restaurants, and clubs. It’s prized for its ability to produce multiple prints with relative ease.
With the advent of printers, it became inefficient, even archaic to create an advertisement by burning silk screens and pulling ink across the screens onto the paper. The medium has been re-appropriated by designers and artists who are using it not for its ability to mass produce, and also for its potential to create original pieces of art, thereby pushing the initial purpose of screen printing. The tactile, hands-on qualities of each piece produced through screen printing are another draw, and because each pull of ink through the screen is done by hand, no two pieces are exactly identical. It’s all part of screen printing’s charm, and one of the many reasons that Curio (downstairs of Gilt Bar) screen prints its monthly jazz posters and flyers.
Want to know more? You’re in luck. There’s show rolling through town of some damn fine examples of what screen printing can do.
Starting on May 11, 2012, the lofted gallery space near the Damen Blue Line, Public Works, is hosting Pulled: A Catalog of Screen Printing. Pulled showcases a vast amount of work from over 40 renowned designers around the world. Public Works writes on its website, “Pulled examines the explosive creativity loosed by a rigorous breakdown and buildup of layers, opacities, exposures and pulls.” And it’s truly something to behold a multiple layer screen print in person.
The show sprung from a book on screen printing’s top artists by Mike Perry, a Brooklyn based designer and artist. Pulled has traveled to LA, Brooklyn, Portland, and Cincinnati. The list of contributors is pretty cool, too: Ashkan, Deanne Cheuk, Maya Hayuk, Cody Hudson, Seripop, Sonnenzimmer and Marcroy Smith among others.
The show is definitely worth checking out whether you’re an art buff or just a casual appreciator. Check in with Public Works for gallery hours.
May 11 — June 24
Public Works Gallery
1539 N Damen Ave,
Chicago, IL 60622